DURBAN – George Maluleka is a player with huge talent, but he is yet to reach his full potential since making his big move to Kaizer Chiefs, and that is one of the reasons why he has not been a regular part of the Bafana Bafana team.
He showed glimpses of what a great player he is during the Stuart Baxter era at Chiefs when he formed a top-class partnership with Mandla Masango and George Lebese. They were even known as “MALEMA” (MAluleka, LEbese and MAsango) at the time!
Consistency has been one of the major problems in his game, but in the past four matches, he looked rejuvenated and invigorated, which is something that he has credited to his senior teammates and coach Steve Komphela.
He won a man of the match award this past weekend after his influential display when Amakhosi thumped AmaZulu 3-0 in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout.
He was one of the players who enjoyed a great game when they triumphed against Mamelodi Sundowns.
“A lot of hard work has really contributed in my form. The coach has had a couple of chats with me. My fellow teammates, especially Willard Katsande, has been very influential, and Shabba (Siphiwe Tshabalala) as well.
“Most of the senior players have played a role in my performances this season. I think the team as a whole know how to get the best out of me.
“We always try and encourage each other. You know if I’m consistent, then I can help the guys and the team. So I’m very thankful to the guys. They are the ones that have pushed me,” Maluleka said.
Maluleka will have to show the same determination he showed against AmaZulu this past weekend when Amakhosi take on Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium in the Absa Premiership on Tuesday night at 7.30pm.
“It is going to be a difficult one against Polokwane City. We are working very hard. We will now go back to the drawing board. It won’t be easy, but Polokwane’s stadium is one of our happy hunting grounds. We want to do well there as well,” Maluleka said.
Chiefs are in fourth position on the log, and are still searching for their first piece of silverware in two-and-a-half years.
“It has been two seasons now. Obviously we want some sort of silverware. We want to go all the way (in the Telkom Knockout). Whatever is out there, we want to take it,” Maluleka elaborated.
Maluleka has only represented his country on six occasions. The majority of players he played with at the Under-20 World Cup in 2009 in Egypt are regulars at Bafana Bafana, which is something he has failed to achieve over the years.
He is not dejected, though. “Not at all, not at all, I’m not disappointed.
“I think the guys are doing well at the moment, which gives me an opportunity to work hard, look at myself in the mirror and see where I can improve as a player.
“But disappointment, no! I have the full support of the Amajita (guys). I’m a friend with most of them. So like I said, it is an opportunity for me to work on my game and grow better as a player.”
Isolezwe, IOL Sport