George’s hard work pays off for Amakhosi
GEORGE Maluleka has yet to reach his full potential since making a big move to Kaizer Chiefs, and that is one of the reasons he has not been a regular member for Bafana Bafana.
He showed glimpses of his ability during Stuart Baxter’s tenure as Amakhosi coach, when he formed the ‘Malema’ attacking triumvirate with Mandla Masango and George Lebese. Consistency has been one of the major problems in his game but in the past four matches he has looked rejuvenated.
Maluleka has credited his new-found form to senior teammates and coach Steve Komphela.
He won a Man-of-the-Match award for a sterling display that helped Amakhosi thump AmaZulu 3-0 in the Telkom Knockout at the weekend. Prior to that he had also impressed in Chiefs’ defeat of Mamelodi Sundowns.
“A lot of hard work has really contributed to my form. The coach has had a few chats with me. My teammates, especially Willard Katsande and Shabba (Siphiwe Tshabalala), have been very influential as well.
“Most of the senior players have played a role in my performance this season. I think the team as the whole, they know how to get best out of me,” Maluleka said in explaining the reason behind his good form.
He will have to show the same determination when Chiefs take on Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium tonight.
“It is going to be a difficult one. We are working very hard. It won’t be easy but the good thing is that Peter Mokaba is one of our happy hunting grounds,” Maluleka said.
Chiefs are in fourth position on the Absa Premiership table, and are still searching for a first piece of silverware under Komphela’s guidance.
“We want to go all the way (in the Telkom Knockout). Whatever is out there we want to take it,” Maluleka said.
Maluleka and Co will have to beat Chippa United on Sunday to progress to the penultimate stage of a competition they have won a record 13 times, although they haven’t won the cup in seven years.
Despite his club form, Maluleka has only represented his country on six occasions at senior level.
The majority of players he played with at the Under20 World Cup in 2009 in Egypt are regulars at Bafana Bafana. Does his failure to crack the nod bother him much?
“Not at all, not at all, I’m not disappointed. I think the guys are doing well at the moment, which gives me an opportunity to work hard, look at myself in the mirror and see where I can improve as a player. But disappointment no! I am fully supportive of them. I’m friends with most of them. So it is an spur for me to work on my game and grow better as a player.”