Usuthu defender Ayabulela Konqobe chats to AmaZulufc.net about all things football; the Prince Mangosuthu Legacy Cup and how his former boss helped him in his career.
AFC: What does it mean to take part in the first edition of the Prince Mangosuthu Legacy Cup in Ulundi this coming Sunday?
AK: It’s a good opportunity for us, and with big teams in the tournament, it’s gonna be tough. It helps us to see where we are as there’s also a team out from the CAF competition (Mbabane Swallows). We’ve been playing a lot of friendlies and this tournament will be perfect as well.
AFC: What does it mean for you to play in the PSL again?
AK: It means a lot being back in the PSL judging from the fact that I worked very hard to be here. It wasn’t an easy journey. I experienced a lot, good and bad, but it helped me grow as a footballer and as person. God only knows the way forward but on my behalf it’s to stay focused and carry on focusing on my football.
AFC: What does it mean to don AmaZulu colours again?
AK: Being back at AmaZulu is a great feeling, I left at a time where I was enjoying my football and everything was great. Off the field things there were that came in between. Being professional is the only way everything has to go around. I’m glad I’m back home and I’m hoping it’s gonna be a very good season for us as Usuthu.
AFC: What has the reception from your teammates from AmaZulu been like?
AK: More than amazing. I missed the guys and it’s good to be back with the family. It’s like I never left.
AFC: It probably makes things easy that you’ve been part of the team in the past and you’re close friends with former SA U23 teammate Mbongeni “Shoes” Gumede. Your thoughts on playing alongside the experienced Siyabonga “Bhele” Nomvethe and Mabhuti Khenyeza?
AK: It’s a big honour to be playing alongside players like Bhele. He’s very big in the game, and it’s easy to work with even the likes of Mabhuti. He’s been in the game for a long time and I mean I’ve never met a guy down to earth like him. Coming to Shoes, he’s a close friend and a colleague, and also a very experienced youngster. So it’s nothing but an honour and a great feeling to be working with them and many others.
AFC: How instrumental a role did your previous bosses have in your career?
AK: I got the best advice from Mr Jomo Biyela who was more like a father to me at Thanda, the guy who always believed in me and gave me a chance and before leaving the club. I spoke to the team and they wished me all the luck and blessings as everybody knows how united we are. I wished the lads and technical team the best of luck.