Sithebe reflects on Samkelo Zwane and Mdu Shabalala's impact in the team
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe has revealed that he is impressed with how Samkelo Zwane and Mduduzi Shabalala have grown since being part of Chiefs' senior team.
Coming from the development side, Zwane and Shabalala were promoted to Amakhosi's senior team this season under the guidance of Arthur Zwane who was their mentor from the development side before he also got promoted to the senior team's head coach role.
Coming in as a substitute in Chiefs' 3-0 victory against Maritzburg United earlier on this season, Shabalala has become a regular in Amakhosi's starting XI making 20 appearances in all competitions while also scoring two goals and providing two assists in the process.
Meanwhile, Zwane has made 13 appearances across all competitions since making his debut against Stellenbosch FC on the 9th of October 2022 coming in as a substitute as well.
The DStv Diski Challenge graduate has also been a regular starter under Zwane playing alongside the likes of Yusuf Maart and Sithebe in the middle of the park.
Reflecting on how the youngsters have adapted and grown in the first team, Sithebe reiterated that although they are great players, there is also still a lot of improvement to be done on how they play.
"Well Zwane is good, very good, he may be coming from the development side to the first team but he is good and when I play with him most of the time I always tell him that the most important thing is communication.
We need to communicate, guide each other, communicate when one of us is out of position and make sure that we connect so that everything can be alright and he can also gain some experience and improve as a player," Sithebe said.
With Zwane's strongest abilities being able to pass, shoot and getting those long range balls in the final third, Sithebe believes if the 21 year old can continue working more on his craft, he will get the much needed experience and exposure.
While Shabalala has been a fan favourite in the black and gold colours of Amakhosi, Sithebe insists the 19 year old needs to learn how to block the outside noise as it has the potential to ruin his career.
"Shabalala has been performing and doing very well and he misses chances sometimes but otherwise there are a lot of games where he gave a lot for us to win the match, I always tell him that since he is now in the first team he must try to not listen to a lot of people from outside because that can make his head big.
I tell him he should be ready for all sorts of opinions because people will always talk, he is a very skillful player and sometimes I tell him that if he wants to dribble he should go ahead because that gives us room to breathe as midfielders and we manage to keep the ball down," Sithebe added.
With the Glamour Boys now out of the Nedbank Cup, the former AmaZulu midfielder along with Zwane and Shabalala will be keen on helping Amakhosi finish third on the log and qualify for the CAF Confederations Cup.
Chiefs take on SuperSport United on Saturday the 13th of May at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rusternburg.