Kaizer Chiefs head coach Arthur Zwane hailed teenager Mduduzi Shabalala for his Soweto Derby showing and says he has the potential to be ‘one of the best’.
The 19-year-old started his first Soweto Derby in the DStv Premiership and held his own, showing some glimpses of what could be in the future.
While he’s netted twice in his debut season for Amakhosi amongst the senior team, the South Africa youth international stated in the pre-match build-up that he’s aiming to grow as fast as he can to fulfill his potential in Europe.
“It was good to see a youngster like Mduduzi going in there and showcasing his talent, showing a bit of arrogance here on the ball and I just hope he will grow in stature and become one of the best players in the future,” Zwane said at FNB Stadium.
“Mdu is a special talent, he’s more like Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, though he is a bit explosive, I’m a believer in giving youngsters the opportunity because I was once a youngster and I was given a fair chance to express myself.”
The Chiefs mentor went on to state that the chances ‘Mdu’ is receiving should be happening more often within their own ranks and across the board of South African football to accelerate the development of our talent pool available for Bafana Bafana selection.
“I might have blossomed later in my football career but if you look at what we’re not doing right currently as a nation is not giving deserving youngsters the opportunity to go out there and shine and we expect our national team to have very good players… or at U23s to have good players at that level that can feed the senior national team.
“We’re not giving them opportunities here [in the PSL] but as soon as we settle in terms of what we want to achieve, from our side, you will see more youngsters, because they are the future of this country and if you go back and look at the history… of Kaizer Chiefs.
“Whenever Chiefs dominated, they had quite a few development youngsters that understand the culture and know what it means to play for a team of Chiefs’ calibre and then from that, we can build a very strong team, with a strong foundation.
“Our youngsters now are doing well, we have a very strong spine, we just need to make sure we keep doing the right things – when Mdu plays for 90 minutes in a game of this magnitude, it encourages other youngsters to want to be part that in future.”