Willem Jackson backs Highlands Park's deaf striker to reach PSL level
Posted: 16 March 2019 Time: 08:00
Highlands Park's MultiCoice Diski Challenge coach Willem Jackson believes deaf striker Simo Jiyane stands an equal chance of making it to the PSL as other players.
Jiyane, who once represented South Africa at the Deaf Olympics, has now opted to play football instead.
According to Orlando Pirates legend Jackson, the former sprinter has a great future in the sport.
"Ja you know mos he is deaf, and he knows what he wants and how we want to play," Jackson tells KickOff.com.
"If I want something different I can explain to him what I want him to do. But if I talk to the whole team you know I make sure that he can see my lips because he can lip-read. And I make sure he can see what I'm trying to say you know, if he doesn't understand he will come ask me.
"His role is simple, he is a striker and I've got a board, I show him on the board what I want from him, where I want him to go when we have the ball, when we don't have the ball, he knows what is his job.
"You know as long as he understands what we want that's not a problem, he is very clever. Before every game I explain to the match officials about his condition and some of them are also surprised.
"He's an exceptional player, I like his movement off the ball, he is very fast. So I also tell my players that when we have the ball just to check his runs."
Jackson says Jiyane is allowed to wear his hearing device during games as they enable him to hear the whistle.
"He is using a hearing aid, it's plastic so they are allowing him to play in it because he can hear the whistle. So if the refs blow the whistle he can hear with them you know, but on the field he is focused, he observes what is happening around him, so I think he is very clever."
Jackson says first team coach Owen Da Gama is very much aware of Jiyane and his condition.
"Ja they know him [the first team coaches], they know what he can do and I always explain to the coaches about the players," Jackson adds.
"You know what, I'm coaching him and I think it's up to him you know, he is a good player that can play in the PSL, I don't think that can stop him. He is intelligent, the only problem is that he cannot hear, that's all, he can play football, he can do whatever."