I Was Really Sad To Leave Chiefs!
Soccer Laduma|2 October 2019
Such is the universality of football that when a player goes into a completely new environment away from the comforts of home, it matters not that said player is unable to speak the local dialect.

A good enough footballer can be spotted a mile away, and that is why, as an example, a gynaecologist from Scandinavia wouldn’t rock up in the Absa Premiership and masquerade as a footballer. So, even with his slow start after he had finally landed in Johannesburg, the fact the sometimes hard-to-please Kaizer Chiefs faithful started to warm up to Andriamirado Andrianarimanana, with his poor command of English, speaks volumes about the midfielder’s ability and quality. Unfortunately, though, if not surprisingly, his 14 appearances for the Soweto giants last season were not enough to see him remain with the club this season, as he has been sold to Black Leopards. Some believe he was made the sacrificial lamb, as Chiefs had to let one foreigner go to adhere to the PSL rules. In this interview with Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo, Dax, as the player is affectionately addressed, with the help of close friend and homeboy Stenny Randriamanantsoa who translated some of the questions for him, talks about this, as well as how things are going in Limpopo.

Beaver Nazo: Hi, Dax. How is life at Black Leopards treating you so far? Andriamirado Andrianarimanana: Everything is well here, papa. Everything works out well, no problems. It is very nice here. People are friendly.

BN: Limpopo can be very hot at times, especially during the summer season. How are you coping with the heat, having been used to the coast back in Madagascar?

AA: Yes, it is hot, but I haven’t experienced any problems. It is not that different to my home country, but it is different because it is always hot here. But there were two days where it was too cold.

BN: The team has had a poor start to the season and lie in 12th place on the log standings, after seven games played. How do you plan to change the situation around?

AA: Look, I do not play alone, but I can guarantee you that as a team, Black Leopards are working very hard to change the situation to be better. It is still early days, but to answer your question, we are giving 100 percent as players.

BN: What did you make of coach Lionel Soccoia being released as Leopards head coach only five games into the season?

AA: I cannot comment on that because I don’t know why he left, but for me, it will not affect me much because I only played in one game under him.

BN: What do you make of Luc Eymael’s appointment as his successor?

AA: He is a good coach and different from the last coach. We have no problems, good communication.

BN: You say he is different from the last coach. How so?

AA: No, the tactics… I am talking about the tactics. They have different tactics. We trained with him for four days before our game on Sunday.

BN: You were handed your first start in your 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend, with Eymael sitting in the stands as he awaits his work permit. Did he select the team that played on Sunday?

AA: It was good to be on the field; it was really good. Yes, he selected the team.

BN: Has he spoken to you about how he is going to use you this season?

AA: Ha, ha, ha, yes. He said he wants me to play combination football and make the team play.

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