‘Scottie’ brings the shine

2011-02-26 15:58

Midfielder Granwald Scott has been living in the shadows at Ajax Cape Town for the better part of his six seasons in the Absa Premiership.

His progress was hampered by recurring ankle and calf tissue injuries.

But following the departure last season of Clifford Ngobeni, Dipsy Selolwane, Lance Davids and a long-term injury to Nhlanhla Shabalala, a fit Scott has made the number six position his own.

For the first time since his promotion to the senior team in the 2004/05 season, the 23-year-old has had an injury-free campaign and has proved to be a vital player in coach Foppe de Haan’s plan this season.

The attacking quartet of Thulani Serero, Sameehg Doutie, Thembinkosi Fanteni and George Maluleka owe their current success to Scott’s contribution in the side’s diamond formation.

“I am pleased with my performances so far and equally surprised that I have managed five to six matches in succession without picking up any serious injuries. I am hungry and everyone at the club believes that we can win the league,” said Scott, who arrived at Ajax as a 13-year-old a decade ago.

“Scottie”, as his peers call him, has played the full 90 minutes in every game so far in Ajax’s campaign this season, only missing his side’s 2-1 win over SuperSport United on February 5 due to suspension.

“The fact is, the medical staff have played a big role in ensuring that the whole team is in fine fettle. I have an extra programme which is more like a rehabilitation session because of the nature of my injuries in the past.”

‘“Shabba” (Shabalala) was earmarked as the first choice for this position but he got injured. When I was handed the responsibility I asked myself ‘why not make this position mine?’”

In the Urban Warriors’ staggered 4–3–3 pattern, the player from Kensington township in Cape Town is the number six, or a specialist defensive midfielder, as the role is now referred to in modern football.

He elaborated: “It’s a holding role but the position does not necessarily restrict me to a defensive midfielder as I don’t just break down attacks from opponents but I am very much part of the attack.”

Scott’s versatility has seen him being deployed on either flank or at number 10, a role filled by Serero these days.

When he is not at the club’s Ikamva base, Scott uses his spare time to assume his role as assistant coach at Kensington FC, an amateur team from his hometown, or simply to spend quality time with his girlfriend and their three-year-old daughter.

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