Golden Arrows coach Mandla Ncikazi has applauded his team’s development structures for producing a good calibre of players throughout the years.
Ncikazi who has been with the team in different stints has worked as understudy to different coaches, whom he rates highly.
The 52-year-old coach told FARPost that his team comprises of many development players from Arrows and he has worked with them for a long time, hence they have been doing well.
“Having worked with the group at Golden Arrows maybe one advantage is that 90% of the players that are playing currently played in the Multichoice Diski Challenge,” he said.
“They grew up within the structures of Golden Arrows, whether you are talking of Nkosinathi Sibisi, Sifiso Mlungwana whom we stole from AmaZulu, whether you are talking of (Thabani) Zuke.”
“Every match we play, more than 80% of the players are from our development structures. I grew up in the team, I was there in 2007, left in 2011 at the end then joined back in 2015,” Ncikazi continued.
“So it’s easy to work in a system where you understand what’s happening. Maybe another advantage, an opportunity to work with Manqoba Mngqithi, when I started working at Arrows, Manqoba was the head coach.
“He gave the opportunity to work as a coach and as an assistant coach, I know assistant coaches differ, there’s ballboy, there’s one that is just planted within the club structures to report on what is happening and there is coach in waiting.”
“Fortunately they gave me an opportunity to work as a coach, Steve (Komphela) did the same. So it has been easy working with the players because I’ve seen them growing in front of me and I worked within the structures of the club,” alluded Ncikazi.
Having been afforded opportunities to work with different coaches in different teams, the Pietermaritzburg-born coach believes he has learnt a lot from those stints and coaching in every football division in South Africa.
“I have coached in every division that exists in the country whether you are talking U12, whether you are talking girls soccer, I went to Tanzania with the U20 national team.
“Whether you are talking USSA when it still existed, SAB Regional League I coached, ABC Motsepe League I coached, African Wanderers that I played for, I coached them. So I’m sure I was the longest existing assistant coach. I hold the record.”
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter