Paul Bishop

Paul Bishop (SA Soccer) (1)

Former AmaZulu captain Paul Bishop discusses his playing days, the current state of the club and the importance of investing in the youth.

How does the modern game compare to when you were a professional footballer?

Paul Bishop: The game itself is not too different, but the players are much fitter and faster because of the level of professionalism and the ability to dedicate more time to the game.

Technically, I think the players were a lot better in our days. During my time at AmaZulu I was lucky to play alongside a number of top players like Ron Langa and Joel Faya, just to name a few.

 Who were the best players you played against during those days?

PB: There was an abundance of talent throughout the country and teams like Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows had great players like Webster Lichaba, Jomo Sono and Joel Mnini.

Those players were all technically gifted and it was a challenge as well as a pleasure to play against them.

Who is your favourite player in the current AmaZulu side and why?

PB: When I’ve seen the team playing – I’ve been impressed with the striker Ayanda Dlamini. He’s a good player and he always gives everything for the team. If the entire squad can be that committed on the field then the team will go far.

What will it take to get AmaZulu back to a level where they are challenging for silverware regularly?

PB: I don’t think anything drastic needs to be done because the club is in good hands when it comes to management and administration.

Going back to the team; I think we need four or five quality signings to strengthen the team and of course we need the players to believe in themselves and the coach.

What are your thoughts on coach Craig Rosslee’s influence since his arrival at the club?

PB: I have nothing but admiration for the good job that he has done with the club. I believe that the turnaround has already begun since he took over; he has brought that confidence back to the players.

As one of the selectors at the Engen Under-17 Knockout Challenge – what do you think of the raw talent in KwaZulu-Natal?

PB: There is no shortage of talent in KwaZulu-Natal; the province has always produced top players over the decades. It’s disappointing sometimes to see the top players from this province shining for teams in Gauteng and other provinces.

What should be done to ensure that we see more of these homebred players making it to the top with our local teams?

PB: The wheels have already started turning because all three local teams in the Premier Soccer League have youth structures.

These development structures should function properly to ensure that when the talent is identified there is a working system to nurture it and feed it into the first team.

The head coaches should also be aware of what is happening at youth level so they can be able to integrate these players into the first team and help to speed up their development.

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