“MY BIGGEST DOWNFALL WAS MY OWN ATTITUDE. I THOUGHT THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WERE THE REASON I WASN’T PLAYING.”
“I played with the Under-19s and
and there’s an empty hole that I haven’t filled yet.”
The Wits experience was both a
blessing and a difficult time for Liam, who was still getting over the trauma of losing his father. He admits to making mistakes, but says it was all part of growing up and acknowledges his faults. “I signed with Wits when I was 15. Everything happened when I was very young, so I didn’t realise that it was in my hands until I was maybe 17. I was expecting to be in the [ Wits] team and I wasn’t,” he says. “I had always been in the team wherever I had played before and always expected to play, and to be the player that everybody relied on, especially in New Zealand. “But to come to South Africa and see players do things with the ball that I had never seen before … I mean, I was training with Benjani [Mwaruwari] and Sibusiso Vilakazi, big names! “I actually didn’t know who these guys were until I got there. I came so ignorant into professional football and the career path in general, so I was learning every day.” scored a couple of good goals in training. Gavin [Hunt] had a word with coach Ashley [Makhanya] and Glen Salmon, who is head of the youth development there, and I think after training for a couple of days with them, I went straight to the reserve team [BidBoys]. “I trained with BidBoys once and then Gavin said, ‘Let’s keep you in first team training everyday’. I thought it was great, but in saying that, I expected to because I had so much confidence in myself. I didn’t want to go back down to the U-19s, as I felt I deserved to be in the first team. “I made so many mistakes, but learnt so much. If I go train now it is crazy [to see the improvement]. It is amazing how much you can learn in three years. “It was important for me to learn the expectation of how to perform in the first team, how to behave, how to conduct yourself as a first team player. I was still young.”
(Below) Jordan says he has grown as a player and person from his time in Portugal.