South Africa

Khenyeza praised for keeping Arrows sharp in front of goal

Before their goalless draw away to Orlando Pirates on Wednesday, high-flying Golden Arrows had, for the first time in their Premier Soccer League history, scored in all 10 of their previous league games.

For this rare feat, Arrows trainer Mandla Ncikazi has praised his second in command Mabhuti Khenyeza, saying the retired striker, who scored 110 PSL goals in his prime, is imparting his knowledge and first-hand experience of banging in goals to their attackers.

“We had the analysis of last season. We tried to find balance between conceding less while we work on the attack. But I must also note that Mabhuti,  being a former striker,  is contributing a lot in trying to improve the team in front of goals,’’ said Ncikazi after their 0-0 draw at Pirates.

Fourth placed Arrows, leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and second placed Swallows remain the only three teams yet to be defeated in the DStv Premiership so far this season. 

Questioned on what has been their secret this season, the 51-year-old Ncikazi indicated that descending to his players’ level and allowing them to play to their strengths are some of the ingredients for their promising start to the campaign.

“If you’re a coach it’s either you have a coach influence strategy, where you believe that what you want, you get and it is going to work, or a player influence approach. Arrows have short players, skilful players ... very fast, so I looked at what we have and used it to the best of my ability and theirs,’’ Ncikazi explained.

“I think this is working well. Sometimes as coaches we want to be too high than the players (sic). The fact that I went to university and not all the players went there means I have a choice whether I go to their level or the players come to my level, so I try to be at their level all the time.”

Abafana Bes’thende hope to continue with their solid form when they face an indifferent Cape Town City side at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday at 3.30pm. 

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