Let Zongo's past stay there, says coach

Masibusane Zongo
Image: Simon Mathebula.

Royal Eagles' talented yet wayward midfielder Masibusane Zongo is fortunate that his scandalous past seems not to bother the new Eagles coach Roger Sikhakhane.

Zongo was arrested last June for an alleged rape that occurred in 2013, but five months down the line he was released from police custody.

The 27-year-old's football career has always been dogged by off-field delinquency.

The skilful winger has been at loggerheads with management for ill-discipline in almost every club he has turned out for.

He has not lasted at every team he has joined - due to his erratic behaviour - since leaving SuperSport United in 2011.

Sikhakhane, who joined Eagles last month after replacing Serbian-born mentor Kosta Papic, feels it would be unfair to judge Zongo by his past.

He said he was prepared to help the Mthatha-born midfield maestro revive his ailing football career.

"To me he is like any other player I have in the club. I do not want to dwell on what happened in his past.

"My job is to help him improve - as one of my players. I work with players who show commitment at training and he is doing just that.

"It would be unfair to speak about his past. Let's face the future by forgetting all the negativity,'' Sikhakhane said.

When asked how he rates Zongo's talent, the Eagles tactician said: "He is very important to the club and I want to help him resurrect his career.

"I do not want to put too much pressure on him by saying how much I rate him. Everyone knows Zongo and what he's capable of. I treat him like all the players in the team.''

Zongo's experience will come in handy when Eagles face one of the Absa Premiership's in-form teams, Maritzburg United, in the second round of the Nedbank Cup at Durban's Princess Magogo Stadium this afternoon (3.30pm).

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