Chiefs youngsters to be managed differently under Molefi Ntseki

Times have changed for the Kaizer Chiefs development players in Naturena, as coach Molefi Ntseki has different plans and intends to manage them differently going forward.

Unlike the previous seasons, where academy graduates were exposed to the first team and given minutes week-in week-out by former coaches Gavin Hunt, Stuart Baxter and recently Arthur Zwane.

The likes of Mduduzi Shabalala, Samkelo Zwane, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Wandile Duba, Sabelo Radebe and Happy Mashiane have not had as many minutes under their belt as they would have wanted to.

This season, none of them have started games, while some have been coming off the bench. That deed has since brewed suggestions that Ntseki does not believe in young talent.

In his defence, the former Bafana Bafana coach said he wants to integrate the youngsters into the first team the right way and the best way he knows how to.

“You promote a player because of the qualities they have that are needed in the first team. It’s not only about the talent but also about the personality,” Ntseki told Sunday World recently.

“The most important thing when it comes to the younger players, we need to build in them a first-team personality, and a first-team personality comes with a lot of pressure.

“It’s not only for them to be on the pitch and enjoy themselves, but it’s about playing within the structure, respecting the opponent, and always giving your A-game.

Dribbling wizard Shabalala and flamboyant midfielder Zwane are probably the two notable prodigies who lost their places in the starting line-up – even after being dubbed as some of the best talents to have come out of the Chiefs development.

“The most important thing when you talk of youngsters coming into the first team, we talk of tactical maturity, it is very important,” he said.

“So, it’s important as a coach to teach and develop tactical maturity in them, which comes with the structure and discipline in and out of position – why you are carrying the ball, so that every player on the pitch understands what is happening.

“Don’t come up with surprises and we all get surprised by your actions. It’s crucial to have that tactical maturity.”

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