Ertugral won't baby Prince
Posted: 5 January 2018 Time: 10:30
Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral says he has no problem with troubled striker Prince Nxumalo, but insists it is not his responsibility to baby the players.
Nxumalo went AWOL towards the end of 2017, and only returned to Ikamva on Wednesday, a week after the squad had assembled after the holidays in preparation for the second half of the campaign.
Ajax boss Ari Efstathiou told KickOff.com that the striker is currently still part of the squad, yet discussions will soon be had which will determine his future.
Head coach Ertugral, although acknowledging the forward’s obvious talent, feels it is a very delicate matter to deal with.
“The players must understand this is professional football, they get wages for their work,” Ertugral said. “I did not have a problem with Prince, I don’t know why he didn’t come back. In my view, players should be now eager at training: under a new coach, they have a new possibility to play, but we must still sort his situation out, after I hear more from the chairman.
“But in the end, if someone doesn’t want to play, they don’t want to play. But he needs to be here, so we can at least listen to why he didn’t come in, and then take a decision from there. But I also don’t want to now disturb the team that has been working well, and then have someone come in from the outside [to disturb it] … this is the dynamism which you can’t see from the outside.
“But I don’t have a problem with Prince – I know he is a good player.”
The experienced coach has however indicated that he expects players to show some level of professionalism and maturity, insisting it is not his job to act as their father.
“The point for me is that sometimes players need to grow up a little bit,” he said. “In South Africa, I always hear the term ‘father figure’. I’m not a father figure, I’m here to run a club in a certain direction, so that father-figure thinking must be stopped.”
Ertugral, along with new Zimbabwean signings Tendai Ndoro and Gerald Takwara, are all still awaiting their work permits, with the club unsure if they will receive them in time for tonight’s clash against Maritzburg United at Cape Town Stadium.