AmaZulu team manager Japhet Zwane talks about his role away from the playing field and why he feels this team can go far.
Japhet, how are you finding your new job of AmaZulu team manager?
It is very good, but it’s not the same as being a player. When you are a player you just go into the field, you train hard and you do your best. That’s all you do. But now, whatever the players need, I have to make sure it is done. There is a lot of work!
Sometimes, as a former player, my focus goes towards the game because this is how I am and I even find myself shouting to the players from the bench (laughing).
You know how football is. I’m passionate, just like so many other players and all you want to do is be involved in the game.
It sounds like you are still very passionate about the game Japhet. We see that you are sitting on the bench with the technical team. What has this been like?
The coach said he wants his team manager right near to him on the bench. I am fine with that. It brings me close to the action and I like it.
Talking of the coach, Craig Rosslee was a right back and you a left winger, so did you come up against each other?
Yes I did. He used to put his fingers across my face and all of that (laughing). He always played mind games with us and was a strong player. Let me say that most of the time it was not an easy game for Craig when he came up against Japhet!
What actually made you get into this team manager position?
The club spoke to me. Peter (O’Connor) said I am a former player and I understand things so he felt it was a job for me. I don’t think I can do a job that doesn’t relate to football.
What were you doing before this job?
I was working at Durban City. Remember the famous old club? They have been trying to rebuild the club, so I was coaching the team for a while and they were playing in the Pinetown amateur league here in Durban.
Which player in the AmaZulu first team excites you the most?
It’s a difficult question because our team does not play as individuals. It is always tough to even select a man of the match here. Obviously there are times when someone does something to make us win the game, but it’s very tough to select one or two players.
How far can the team go this season?
I think we can go very far because we have some quality players. We bought quite a lot of players in the off season, which shows that management want results and are very serious about the team.