Zwane concerned by lack of starlets

Prior to the start of last season, Chiefs promoted striker Emanuel Letlotlo, defenders Siyabonga Ngezana and Sibongiseni Ngcobo, and goalkeeper Luthando Sixhaso, although none of the quartet managed to establish themselves in Steve Komphela's starting XI.

READ: Chiefs fans given selection insight

However, young Amakhosi keeper Bruce Bvuma proved capable between the sticks after being called up towards the end of the 2016/17 campaign after injuries to first and second-choice glovemen Itumeleng Khune and Brilliant Khuzwayo respectively.

Zwane, who now has two seasons with Chiefs’ MultiChoice Diski Challenge team under his belt, says that with the club's prestige, it is unfortunate the youngsters don’t have a smoother integration into the first team after emergency call-ups.

“There's always been a lot of players at Kaizer Chiefs' development [who have been promoted] but with the [current] pressure; it’s much better when these players get that integration with less pressure but unfortunately there's no time at Chiefs. Whether Kaizer Chiefs win or lose, there's no time when there's no pressure. There's always pressure,” Zwane said.

“So that means these players, if they want to survive, they are going to have to cope with with the pressure of Kaizer Chiefs.

“But we’re also guiding these boys through that transition and we’re doing that every day. We spend a lot of time with these boys whenever I'm with them.

“I arrive [at Naturena] at eight o'clock in the morning and I leave around eight o'clock in the evening because it is not about coaching the players on the field of play, but you also have to coach them outside as well.

“We sit down and monitor individuals and you crack jokes because you want to see who is laughing [and who's not] and then you pick up on the problem if there's any at home. You call him aside and find out what is the problem.

“From the fact that they come from different backgrounds, it’s difficult. Apart from those who stay inside the Village but there are those who come from outside, so it’s tough, it’s a gamble.”

Meanwhile, this website has learned that Komphela is keen on keeping another club development product, Kgotso Malope, for this coming season following his successful loan spell with now defunct Thanda Royal Zulu, whom he won the NFD title with last season.

Malope featured from the bench in Amakhosi’s successful Maize Cup campaign on Saturday where he assisted one of the goals by looping a long pass over Free State Stars' defence for George Lebese to fire home as Chiefs lifted the trophy.

Pietermaritzburg-born midfielder Wiseman Meyiwa and striker Itumeleng Shopane, who both played in this year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea in June under Thabo Senong, are others who look set to be promoted this season after both started the final yesterday.

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