JOHANNESBURG – Despite enduring a disappointing time during the club's Spanish tour due to an injury, Golden Arrows’ attacking midfielder Siboniso Conco says he’s optimistic of a clean sweep at this year’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards in both categories of the Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC).
“I have really worked hard this season,’’Conco said. “I am not belittling the rest of the players in league but due to the good season I’ve had, I see myself walking away with both awards up for grabs - the top goal-scorer and player of the season.’’
The confidence that Conco oozes is proof that hard-work and determination pays off. At some point he was deemed surplus to the requirements to the extent Arrows even loaned him out to ABC Motsepe side uMvoti FC in their maiden season in the reserve league.
Yet instead of being discouraged, Conco used the loan period to build his confidence. The results were impressive, Conco making a return to Arrows with a bang as he scored eight goals in 13 matches. That haul saw him finish the league season atop the scorers' chart.
Conco says things worked out in his favour because he grabbed the opportunity to go to a lower division and polish his game.
“Going to the ABC was a learning curve. I took the opportunity because clearly my time hadn’t yet come at Arrows,’’Conco reasoned. “Coach Kanu (Vusumuzi Vilakazi) actually suggested I go and work on my game in the ABC. He told me he’d come fetch me if I do well. I did well. And he kept his word.’’
Conco says that plying his trade in the third division instilled self-confidence in him. Seemingly that worked out like a charm because before he could even wrap up the season with Umvoti, Arrows took him back. The 22-year-old also acknowledges the support he received from others.
“The people around me motivated me to continue working hard,’’Conco said. “Without them I wouldn’t have had the season I had. The coach instructed me to continue working hard, stay focused and give him reasons to play me.’’
As a top scorer, Conco was key to Arrows being crowned MDC champions and winning this tour to Spain. Yet, fate dealt him a bad blow as he got injured in the first match against Rayo Vallencano during which he played a mere 45 minutes. He was rested against Girona.
“It was very hard not to feature as much I wanted,’’Conco said. “My heart is really heavy, especially after I had such a good season in the Diski.”
Shining at the awards will, however, make up for his Spanish pain.