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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We have a problem
For this reason, Clinton Larsen was shown the door as head coach, but still, under new mentor Norman Mapeza, the struggle persists, although they did win two games on the trot recently.
They have the character
Cut Lehlohonolo Seema’s skin andhe’ll probably bleed green andwhite – such has been the man’s loyalty to Bloemfontein Celtic. Born and bred in neighbouring Lesotho, the Mangaung outfit is a club that’s always had a pull factor on him. So much that it is they who pulled him from obscure Bantu United from the mountainous kingdom in 1998, and he would go on to represent the club until 2006 when the allure of Orlando Pirates, understandably, proved too great a pull factor. Yet even a five-year spell with the Soweto giants, which included a season-long loan stint at Mpumalanga Black Aces, would not prevent him being pulled back in the direction of Siwelele, albeit to begin a coaching journey in the junior ranks. The next step was to become an assistant, a job he performed with aplomb, before being called on to take the hotseat together with John Maduka after the departure of Steve Komphela at the tail end of 2018. Much against general expectation, the duo has done fairly well, if Celtic’s off-field troubles of the recent past are to be taken into consideration. Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo sat down with Seema to discuss this, that, and the other.
They are on another level
Before signing for Mamelodi Sundowns last season,Lyle Lakay knew that he would be used as a leftback and not in his preferred left wing position, something that he surprisingly did not have a problem with. In his first season with the club last term, he played a key role as they went onto win an unprecedented ninth Absa Premiership league title. This season has been a bit of a slow one for Lakay, who has been used mostly as a substitute, but there’s still a lot of football to be played both locally and on the continent, so he has time to fight for his place in the starting line-up. In this interview, the former Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic player chats to Soccer Laduma’s Tshepang Mailwane about his time at the Tshwane giants so far, their chances of winning the CAF Champions League and why he believes they can close the gap on current Kaizer Chiefs, who have been in fine form since the start of the campaign.
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That's Me Wherever I Go
As a coach, former Kaizer Chiefs striker Wedson Nyirenda prides himself on being blessed with the mentality of a winner. So much that when talking about his past achievements in the realm of coaching, you can almost never miss the sparkle in his eye, and often this trip down memory lane will be accompanied by a smile that tells a story of contentment and achievement. He has built up a reputation, across all three countries he has worked in, of turning socalled ordinary teams into respected outfits. He did it with Baroka FC, helping them to annex the 2018 Telkom Knockout trophy much against many people’s expectations. However, the going has since gotten tougher, and the Limpopo side is (still) struggling to score goals this season. What is going on? Is Nyirenda going to jump ship and go back to his previous role as Zambia national team coach, as the rumour mill seems to suggest? Nyirenda provides the answers in this chat with Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo.
HE'S ON FIRE!
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Vaalwater’s “drab”name is misleading– the past decade or so has seen itstep into its role as headquarters of theWaterberg with aplomb.
Queen of the veld
Two well-known cattle breeders from Limpopo advised other farmers not to overlook the Nguni, as this article revealed.
AT LAST, JUSTICE FOR OUR BOY
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Blouberg sails on the bushveld like a solitary ship, rising above the Limpopo landscape near the town of Vivo. Set your course for adventure because vultures and views await…
Brahman Breeders In Limpopo Have A Winning Plan
Several breeders from the Bosveld Brahman Club in Limpopo are applying genetic excellence and genotypic correctness to stimulate the demand for their bulls. At several of the last auctions, the minimum standard of bulls was raised to achieve this goal.
A Wahlberg's Summer
Wahlberg’s Eagles have always been close to my heart and when the opportunity arose to photograph a breeding pair at the nest, I grabbed it with both hands. It all started when Marius, my future son-in-law, told me early in 2019 about an eagle’s nest in a thorn tree near the Sand River on the farm where he lives in Limpopo. He sent me a photograph of the two eagles at the nest and I immediately recognised them as a pair of Wahlberg’s. To add to my excitement, one of them was a pale morph.
Controlling the cat's claw creeper
The leaf-tying moth has been released as a biological control agent against this invasive alien plant.
Life Along The Limpopo
The Limpopo River is South Africa’s border with Botswana for about 500km. It’s also a lifeline for farmers and wildlife, and for the deep roots of ancient trees. Join us as we follow one WhatsApp message to the next, from Steenbokpan to Pontdrift.
Hidden Treasure Verreaux's Eagle-Owl
Despite being the largest owl species in the region and sporting characteristic bright pink eyelids, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owls Bubo lacteus can be surprisingly difficult to find in the wild. It was a colleague of mine, Callum Evans, who first pointed out an eagle-owl nest to me on 1 August 2020 in Mawana Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. I had seen an adult and a sub-adult in the vicinity a few days before and had thought there might be a nest somewhere, but I hadn’t been able to locate it.