At 6 foot 3 inches tall, Frederic Nsabi-yumva is a towering figure in the heart of the Chippa United defence, and, ever since he signed for the team in February last year, has caught the eye with his on-field leadership style and calm demeanour. However, following the struggles of last season where they barely survived relegation, this campaign is fast proving to be a repeat, and winning games is proving to be an insurmountable mountain for the coastal side.
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. Where has it all been falling apart? In this interview, the 24-year-old Burundian maintains his usual cool head and insists to Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo that he and his teammates are doing all in their power to bring positive results to the team.
Beaver Nazo: Fere, you were appointed captain of Chippa United at the start of this season, even though you no longer wear the armband now. What was it like to lead the team?
Frederic Nsabiyumva: Well, it was good to lead the Chilli Boys at the start of the season.
BN: So, why are you no longer wearing the armband?
FN: The time they appointed the new coach (NormanMapeza), the chairman (Siviwe Mpengesi) decided to change the club captaincy and handed it over to our goalkeeper, Patrick Tignyemb. I respected that and everything is okay.
BN: Was that discussed with you before it happened?
FN: Yes, it was discussed with me and I accepted that the club needed to make changes.
BN: How did it feel?
FN: Well, as a professional player, I know that when the results are not coming, the management has the right to ring changes whenever they feel like it. My job is to play football, whether I am the captain or not. I took it positively, like a man, and I support ‘Paddy’ as the new club captain.
BN: You’ve been in South Africa since the age of 18. How would you sum up your stay up to this point?
FN: It has been good, man. I have experienced so many things. You know how it is when you have to leave your own country and see different things, different people. You have to adjust and all that.
BN: What challenges have you had to face?
FN: The difficulties were that I was in a new place and you know when you’re in a new place, you don’t know anyone and you can’t even go out. Like I said, you have to adjust and work on getting new friends. Even on the field, you are with new teammates and it sometimes takes time to understand them. And you must remember that the Absa Premiership is the biggest league in Africa and coming here, on its own, was always going to be a challenge for a young player like me. You have to only think about doing the best that you can at all times. The culture here and the way of living in Johannesburg was difficult to adapt to, but after I settled in, I didn’t have any problems.
BN: What helped you in the process of settling in?
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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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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.