JOHANNESBURG - The captain's arm-band is tailor made for AmaZulu’s Mbongeni Gumede who comes a long way with leadership.
Back in 2005, he was given the responsibility to lead the Orlando Pirates Under-12 side that participated at the Danone Nations Cup in France.
Thereafter, Gumede went on to captain the national team at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels.
It was thus not surprising that Gumede (24) was once again given the leadership duties as Usuthu took on Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout.
With all of Thapelo Nyongo, Sadat Ouro-Okoriko and Michael Morton unavailable, coach Cavin Johnson handed the responsibility of captaining the side to Gumede.
And while the team lost, Gumede was delighted to have had such a mammoth responsibility.
“It is huge for me to captain a big team like AmaZulu. They are one of the biggest teams in South Africa."
Given his experience at leadership, Gumede is understandably looking at one day occupying the biggest role of them all.
"I have captained all the junior national teams. My next big dream is to captain Bafana Bafana,” Gumede explained.
He is expected to continue with his leadership duties as Morton continues to serve two match suspension.
And he will thus have the captain's armband when AmaZulu host table-topping Baroka FC at King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday night (7.30pm).
“Baroka are enjoying a good run at the moment and so the game against them won’t be easy. We are at home though and getting the three points is vital for us. Baroka should be worried about us instead of us being worried about them. We will follow the coach’s instructions and fight as a team.”
And Gumede knows exactly what it is that AmaZulu will have to do to keep the points at home.
“We have to start at the back by keeping clean sheets and the guys upfront will be encouraged to score goals. If we keep a clean sheet then we know we have a better chance of winning the match.”
That will be easier said than done, Usuthu having kept their opponents at bay only twice in eight matches.