Dzvukamanja isn’t letting emotions get the better of him at Orlando Pirates
MIHLALI BALEKA email@example.com
African News Agency
TERRENCE Dzvukamanja could have allowed the ‘boo boys’ to get to his head. Instead it had a silver lining that turned his season around. The arrival of a new coach normally lays a clean slate for players – especially the fringe ones – to fight for starting berths. That was the case when Jose Riveiro arrived at Orlando Pirates, as the littleknown Spaniard was expected to have his ‘own team’ instead of recycling the ‘failed products’ over the years. Riveiro’s team, indeed, reigned supreme, winning the first domestic trophy of the season, the MTN8, and ending the team’s season-long trophy drought. But in the wake of the likes of Monnapule Saleng emerging from perennial loanees to regulars in Riveiro’s refurbished team, Dzvukamanja failed to look the part – making one appearance in the first half of the season. And in the January transfer window, his agent Mike Makaab was quoted on various platforms as saying that they were working around the clock to get Dzvukamanja a new club where he’d get game time. But speaking for the first time since staying put at the Buccaneers, the Zimbabwean claims he regarded those talks as mere speculation, having heard no word from his agency about the possibilities of leaving. “Honestly speaking, I wasn’t aware of anything. I only heard that there were rumours that I might leave the club, but I wasn’t aware of that,” Dzvukamanja said. And while he claims he wasn’t aware of those talks, ‘The Ghost’ had caught wind of the message from reports, to the extent that they booed the 29-year-old striker when he made his cameo against Golden Arrows in January. Dzvukamanja, though, shrugged off the poor reception and scored a goal that steered Pirates’ comeback as they won 4-1 against Abafana Bes’thende at home. In an emotional gesture, the pintsized footballer lifted both his hands to the heavens with a sombre face after the goal, suggesting that he wasn’t celebrating. But after turning his season around, scoring six goals and registering an assist in his last 11 league matches, Dzvukamanja has cleared the air on the incident. “People say I didn’t celebrate. But that was an emotional goal that I and the team needed. “I was celebrating, but I didn’t show people. It was too emotional for me,” Dzvukamanja said. “I didn’t show tears. But it was a very, very important goal for me because it was my first goal (this season). It was key for the club as well.” The ‘boo boys’ have helped Dzvukamanja turn his season around to the extent that he’s not only key in Pirates’ quest to finish second in the league, but to complete a double by winning the Nedbank Cup as well. Yes, Pirates could become the most successful team in domestic football this season if they also beat Sekhukhune United in the Ke Yona final at Loftus Versfeld on May 27. “It’s normal for people to say what they say – even if it’s critics. But I don’t take it like that … Sometimes, I take it as motivation,” Dzvukamanja said. “If they are talking, that also means I am not doing something right. So, I didn’t silence anyone. I just went out there and I did my job.” But with three matches left to play this season – two in the league and one in the Nedbank Cup – Dzvukamanja will know that his job is not yet complete. He’ll have to maintain his scoring form when they host Sekhukhune tomorrow (3pm kick-off) in the first leg of their back-to-back league and cup clashes, as a win will consolidate their Premiership second-place aspirations.