Four years later‚ Ekstein says he's still finding his feet at Kaizer Chiefs

Hendrick Ekstein of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Durban, South Africa.
Hendrick Ekstein of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Pule Ekstein has said that we have not seen the best of the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder yet. But at 27 when will we?

The standard has been so much lowered at Chiefs that a player who has spent four years at the club‚ is 27 years old and should be reaching legendary heights by now‚ honestly confessed that he hasn’t peaked to his own satisfaction and still has a lot to learn.

Chiefs’ attacking midfielder Ekstein stunned the press with his response on Wednesday when he was asked how he feels about his progress in the four years he’s spent with the first team of the mighty Amakhosi‚ saying he was still working on his game.

“To be honest with you‚ I’m not happy with my progress‚” admitted Ekstein‚ who has three goals to his name in the four years he’s been with the Soweto giants.

“I’m still working on it (progress) and I’m willing to work hard. I’m still learning from coach Steve (Komphela) and my teammates‚” he said.

“So I promise to the team and my supporters to work hard and do more and do well for the team. I promise that I will do well.”

Ekstein was brought alongside his coach Komphela to the media at the PSL headquarters in Parktown‚ Johannesburg‚ as Chiefs were preparing to face Baroka FC in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal match in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Bekkersdal-born Ekstein joined Chiefs from amateur club Junior Rangers before making his debut in February 2015.

He was expected to be another version of Thabo Mooki‚ Frank Makua or Thabang Lebese‚ the legendary former Chiefs players who had a similar stature physically to Ekstein and contributed immensely to the success of the club‚ also playing in the playmaking position.

Despite Ekstein’s poor contribution (by his own admission)‚ Komphela who has won no major trophy with the player in close to three years he has been at the club‚ has persevered with him‚ often starting or bringing him on in the second half without much success.

Of late Komphela has been criticised for having Ekstein ahead in the pecking order off the bench of headline January signing from Baroka FC Siphelele Ntshangase.

Komphela said Ntshangase was working hard at training and getting close to full fitness and was expected to fight for a starting berth with Ekstein at the weekend.

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