Mamelodi Sundowns’ Zwane reveals how comparison with Kaizer Chiefs great Khumalo inspired him

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Doctor Khumalo and Themba Zwane Graphic.
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Themba Zwane has revealed how coach Clive Barker inspired him by comparing him to Doctor Khumalo.
  • Zwane and Barker worked together in 2013
  • Could not believe the comparison with Khumalo
  • Names Modise and Moriri as other sources of inspiration

WHAT HAPPENED? Mshishi and Barker worked together when he was sent on loan to Mpumalanga Black Aces in 2013.

It is at this club that the attacking midfielder was inspired by the legendary coach, who compared him with the Kaizer Chiefs and South African football icon Doctor Khumalo.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "He is someone that I was talking to, but lately I lost contact [with him] because he was not well, but he is someone that believed in me, and he told me things that I didn’t know," Zwane said.

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"He was always saying things at training, he said, 'you remind me of Doctor Khumalo', I said, 'come on, coach, Doc is a legend'. He said I remind him of Doctor and that I should believe in myself and play the way I train, I can give the team something, and I could go far."

AND WHAT IS MORE: Further Zwane named two of his former teammates Teko Modise and surprise Moriri for encouraging him when he left for the loan spell.

"What helped me before I went on loan is that I spoke to Surprise and Teko," he added.

"They told me that a loan doesn’t mean that you are a bad player, but a loan means that you can go and get more game time and come back better, so that is what I did.

"I went there, and I worked hard. Each and every game, I would talk to Surprise and say you did well, but I feel like you can give more. So that’s what kept me going."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Since he returned to Masandawana from the loan period, Zwane has established a legendary status at the Premier Soccer League giants.

His success with the Pretoria club has not only been experienced in the PSL, but he has also managed to register success in the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, and MTN8 tournaments.

He was part of the Sundowns squad that conquered Africa by winning the 2016 Caf Champions League and later the Super Cup in 2017.

WHAT NEXT FOR ZWANE AND SUNDOWNS? After facing AmaZulu in the Carling Black Label Cup on Saturday, and possibly the final later on the day, they will enjoy a rest during the World Cup period.

Their first engagement after the Qatar finals will be a PSL match against Orlando Pirates on December 31.