Mngqithi owes arrows a lot

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

No amount of money would influence Manqoba Mngqithi, whose technical and tactical savvy is unquestionable, to dump Lamontville Golden Arrows for any club.

In an interview with Sowetan in Durban, Mngqithi confessed to being approached by several clubs in the Absa Premiership to take over their coaching reins.

A former student leader during his days at university in the Eastern Cape, Mngqithi said: "I made it clear that I was not interested."

He does not dream of divorcing Arrows after they showed confidence in his coaching abilities by appointing him coach after Khabo Zondo left three seasons ago.

Mngqithi, who considers himself as part of the big and ambitious Arrows' family, said Rocky Madlala left Arrows in his capable hands when he died two years ago.

Madlala was co-director of Arrows.

"There is no way I can let Rocky down. One of the things that I know will make him happy is to see Golden Arrows becoming one of South Africa's soccer giants."

Mngqithi reckons Abafana Bes'thende, who are still the only unbeaten outfit in the Premiership, are well on track to live up to their pre-season promise of doing well.

He attributed their success to support from Mato Madlala, the hands-on chairma.

"I appreciate the fact that usisi Mato involves me in all the activities of the club and is always open to us. She goes out of her way to make all of us happy," he said.

Mngqithi refused to take glory for their incredible display in the league, preferring to credit management, players, technical and support staff.

"It's all about team work, being successful means winning titles," said the man, who is jointly assisted by Brazilian Luis Reis Goncalves and Mandla Ncikazi.

He also has Brazilians Carlos Parreira (fitness trainer), Alexandre Revoredo (goalkeeper coach), Moses Khanyeza (joint goalkeeper trainer), Douglas Sheppard (masseur) and Xolani Blose (kit manager) as part of the technical team.

Asked why he went for Brazilians to beef-up his technical team, Mnqgithi said: "The Brazilians are the masters of the game.

"I thought they would help us perfect our skills and their presence is already paying dividends, we are doing well.

"We are working hard to produce more quality players who will also be selected for Bafana Bafana and other national teams.

"Their presence in the national teams will also help in giving Golden Arrows more exposure."

Mngqithi said that one of the advantages at Arrows is that the majority of their players were promoted from the development ranks.

"KG (Kagisho Dikgacoi) is also from our reserve side. Other products include Musa Bilankulu and Philani Shange and Thanduyise Khuboni."

At Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Mnqgithi played soccer as a midfielder in the same team as former Bafana Bafana defender Sipho Ndzudzo.

"I should also have played professional soccer but my parents were totally against it, they wanted me to complete my degree in Bachelor of Arts in Education first."

The Umzimkhulu-born Mngqithi was forced to hang-up his soccer boots to focus on coaching after sustaining an assortment of injuries.

l Read more about this young coach in the Sowetan Soccer Magazine due out at month end.