Hendrick Ekstein keeps Siyabonga Dube of Golden Arrows at bay. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs dribbling wizard Hendrick Ekstein is not far away from being the finish article, according to his boss Steve Komphela.

Ekstein has been blowing hot and cold since making his debut two seasons ago. He played a pivotal role in Amakhosi’s triumph over AmaZulu at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night in the Telkom Knockout.

Chiefs won 3-0 and will face Chippa United on Sunday at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth in the quarter-final.

Ekstein combined well with the likes of Siphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala, George “Midoh” Maluleka and Willard “Salt and Vinegar” Katsande in the middle of the park.

He capped his performance with a goal, and Chiefs coach Komphela has identified areas where the Ekstein need to refine his game in order to be a genius.

“With regards to Ekstein, George will tell you they are always on his case. There are couple of things that he needs to complete in his game to be a threatening player. But confidence-wise, he has grown.

“One that I can disclose which he has completed and which is apparent, that is upon receiving the ball, getting turned and going forward and affecting the game.

“Previously he will receive the ball and play it square and back, without wanting to take the risk. I think now he is wearing a risk cap and it is paying off,” Komphela elaborated.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela says Hendrick Ekstein “is a big threat” for the opposition. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Ekstein is one of the regular members in the Chiefs midfield, and always captivates his fans with his skills and flair.

“There are things that they are hard on him for, that is to try and eliminate, and that’s become a threatening player.

“Ekstein is high with confidence, with the technical ability that he’s got, put it at the right place within a tactical approach, he is a big threat,” the coach said.

“Operating in small spaces, I don’t know how this guy thinks because unfortunately we are football people, we think with our feet. He is quick, with calculations.

“He is more of a genius. He gets the ball within no time. He just twists things. I hope he will get to the level where he is consistent throughout to be complete – even stuff that he needs to rectify.”

 

IOL Sport