CAPE TOWN – Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral, after initially not knowing all that much about Rodrick Kabwe, has become a big fan of the Zambian midfielder.
The Cape side hosts Kaizer Chiefs at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm) and they need a victory to secure their PSL status.
Kabwe has played an influential role in Ajax’s improved form over the last few weeks, and he will again be crucial to his team’s chances of success on Saturday.
Ertugral returned to coach Ajax in December last year, but it has only been recently that Kabwe has got a regular place in the team.
“Rodrick has made a great impact this season,” explained Ertugral as to why the player has only come through so late in the season. “He’s a good player and a really good professional."
“I think, if anything, I could have done better by discovering him early. There is always a big difference between training and performing on match-day – and Rodrick is not a big trainer, which is perhaps why I missed him when I first came back to coach the team.”
As for Kabwe, going into Saturday’s crunch game against Chiefs, he was adamant the team was determined to pull off the win – and he was looking to perhaps add one of his special free-kicks to the mix.
The Zambian has developed a reputation as a free-kick specialist at Ajax.
“There’s no pressure, of course,” said Kabwe. “The focus is just on this one game, against Chiefs, and the focus is on winning. It’s now or never, as the result will determine the club’s future in the PSL."
“I’m happy to have made a contribution to the team and I hope to have more seasons here at Ajax. As a player, it’s always good to be settled in one place and to try to help the team as much as possible. As for set-pieces, it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid and at the amateur clubs I used to play for."
“It’s something that has always helped the teams that I previously played for. In the coming season, I want to score more such direct free kicks.”