Eyong hoping to maintain form

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“Personally, I’m happy with how things have turned out for me this season because it’s my first full season with the club. Last season I started in the middle and I missed a couple of matches due to injury as well. But I finished the season on a high note after winning the Absa Cup,” he says.

“This season it was more about starting from scratch right from pre-season. I think everyone in the team has done a great job if you can look at where we are on the log standings.

“The role I’ve been given is also nothing new to me even though I’ve played as a right winger before. I’ve learned to tackle in Cameroon while playing in rough and dusty soccer fields.

“In Cameroon, we don’t have facilities like in South Africa, which is why when we learn to tackle it’s always important that you stay on your feet. If you lunge into a tackle you will injure yourself, that’s how bad the fields are in Cameroon.

“Look at players like Michael Essien and Claude Makelele. You can see that they learned to tackle on gravel because they are always on their feet. Even a player like Mikel Obi. He’s the same because when he dives into a tackle he gets a yellow card because he doesn’t know how to dive into a tackle.”

Eyong was recently made Ajax captain in the absence of Hans Vonk and he steered Ajax to a fine 2-0 win against Orlando Pirates.

“It meant a lot when I was told I was going to be captain on the day against Orlando Pirates, but it was nothing emotional,” he says.

“When the coach [Craig Rosslee] told me that I was going to be captain I didn’t believe it at first. I went to Brett Evans and gave him the armband, but he didn’t want it so I went to Hans Vonk for a bit of advice and that was it. During the match I even forgot that I had an armband on, I just played my normal game and that was it.”

  • To read more about Enoh and the other candidates for the Kick Off Footballer of the Season award, make sure you get the latest edition of Kick Off magazine (issue number 327). On sale Monday May 5.

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