Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya unsurprised by Kaizer Chiefs first team return
Posted: 31 August 2018 Time: 18:00
Kaizer Chiefs defender Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya has defended against criticism of their poor record of conceding goals this season, and reflects on his surprise return to the first team.
Ntiya-Ntiya has risen to prominence as Chiefs' first-choice left-back this season, having started all seven of the team’s matches in all competitions thus far.
It would seem following the departure of Tsepo Masilela and Sibusiso Khumalo, the 21-year-old is seen as a better option that last season’s first choice Philani Zulu.
This could also be down to the vastly different philosophy of new coach Giovanni Solinas compared to that of Steve Komphela, who played with wing-backs rather than fullbacks.
Nonetheless, Ntiya-Ntiya is excited to be a regular feature in the setup and, although the defence has leaked nine goals across all games, he insists it has not only been the backline’s fault.
“I’m really excited to have gotten this opportunity to play. From now going forward, we need to build on the performances and not concede. We really need to continue doing well,” Ntiya-Ntiya said.
“I think for us it is not about the back four, the midfielders or strikers, because we lose as a team and win as a team.”
Prior to the season’s start, the Chiefs academy graduate was banished from the first team training and sent to work with the reserves, along with several of his former youth teammates.
However, Ntiya-Ntiya firmly believes his continued hard work has been the catalyst in his return to the senior team, and says not much has been explained to him by Solinas.
“The coach hasn’t told me anything because after pre-season I was demoted to the reserve team, so for me it was all about being positive and continuing to work hard,” he stressed.
“If the others were training until 2pm, I was training until 3pm, so personally for me it has just been all about hard work.”
Chiefs have since signed experienced Ugandan left-back Godfrey Walusimbi, who is expected to provide immediate competition for the youngster.