nkosi still looking up

Siyabonga Nkosi is a special player in many ways.

Siyabonga Nkosi is a special player in many ways.

Not only his fans in South Africa see him as an exceptional player but the majority of people with the passion of the game of billions regard him as one.

Many soccer lovers ask themselves questions whenever his name is not mentioned when the Bafana Bafana squad is announced.

He has skill, passion and zeal to strive for perfection and can read the game well.

The word failure is not part of Nkosi's vocabulary even if he experiences some bad patches in his career.

The admired linkman spoke to Sowetan sports writer Mcelwa Nchabeleng on the eve of his return to Germany for a pre-season training camp last weekend.

He revealed his intention to return to the Bafana Bafana set-up, among other things.

Mcelwa Nchabeleng (MN):How can you describe your first season at Arminia Bielefeld?

Siyabonga Nkosi (SN): It was not a bad season for me in spite of the fact that I did not play as much as I would have liked.

MN:What was the reason for you not to play regularly?

SN: Look, it was my first season there and I found a team that had players who had been together for sometime. It was not easy to break into the first team for this reason. But the fact that I was considered for some of the matches encouraged me.

MN: How about the insinuations that you were relegated to the bench after the expulsion of Ernst Middendorp, who brought you to Germany after he mentored you at Amakhosi?

SN: There is no substance in these claims. Middendorp did not treat me with kid gloves. I played about 11 matches because I deserved to play.

MN:What should we expect from you in your second season at the team?

SN: I have learnt a lot from my experience last season and this has made me a much stronger player. I will continue working hard to play regularly next season.

MN: How was the reception like at the team last season?

SN: Not that bad, but I was not treated like a newcomer. Everyone wanted me to work hard to earn the team's jersey. It was a challenge that I liked as a professional player.

MN: Obviously, you were happy to find Sibusiso Zuma (who has since joined Mamelodi Sundowns) and Rowen Fernandez at Bielefeld?

SN: Yes. But I did not rely on them to do things for me. I worked hard for myself. But having them there made me comfortable and feel at home.

MN:How do you find life in Germany?

SN: Apart from the fact that my favourite pap is not available there, I don't have any complaints.

MN: Do you have any difficulty with the language?

SN: I know a bit of German now and the Germans can now understand what I'm talking about in their language.

MN: Do you think Bafana will qualify for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola as their chances now seem remote?

SN: It is not yet over until the fat lady sings. We should just keep our heads up and win our remaining qualifying matches.

MN:Do you still hope to don the Bafana Bafana jersey again?

SN: Of course, yes. It is a challenge for me to work even harder.

MN:How do you relax after a hard day at training?

SN: I am a reserved person and I spend much of my spare time indoors surfing the Internet, listening to music and reading soccer magazines. I Sometimes let myself loose by visiting nteresting places.