AmaZulu’s Madondo coming of age

2013-09-13 00:00

HE is just 23 years old and already has five seasons of PSL football under the belt, but this year’s campaign is the most important one yet for AmaZulu central midfielder Kulegani “Chillies” Madondo.

After making the move down the N3 from Maritzburg United at the beginning of last season, Madondo is now a regular in coach Craig Rosslee’s side, but he is yet to live up to the expectations that have hovered above him since he made his PSL debut for United in 2008.

A player with a wide range of passing, soft feet and the ability to break up play in midfield, Madondo — especially in his youth — was often punted as a future Bafana Bafana star. Now, in the prime of his career, the playmaker can no longer hide behind his age.

“I think that I am establishing myself as a senior player at the club,” Madondo told The Witness this week ahead of his side’s PSL clash against Moroka Swallows at Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow evening. “I won’t be rushing anything, but there is always room for improvement, like with anything you do in life.”

Usuthu’s number five added that he was delighted with the way that he had started the season, but that it was important for the club not to get carried away after two wins against Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town.

“I think it is just important to keep working hard. That is what works for me, and thereafter everything tends to fall into place,” he said.

Madondo firmly believes that he is a better player today compared to the one that he was at United, and early indications this season are that he may be right. Madondo has completely outshone new arrival Letladi Madubanya and he was a picture of composure in the win over Ajax in Usuthu’s last outing.

“I have definitely improved as a player, and that comes with playing four or five seasons in the PSL,” said Madondo. “I have learnt a lot of things in football and as a person I have grown. I have been involved with a lot of good players in my career, and as time goes by I keep learning.”

Turning his attention to tomorrow’s clash, Madondo was unfazed at the prospect of facing a side that are yet to lose in the league so far this season.

“It doesn’t matter who you play in the league this season, they are all difficult games,” he said.

“Playing against Swallows is always a good experience. It will be a good opportunity for us to gauge how far we have come as a team.”

With AmaZulu’s two wins this season both coming on the road, tomorrow’s match gives Rosslee’s charges an opportunity to get the ball rolling at home — something that Madondo knows is important.

“Points are points, whether we get them at home or away,” he said.

“But obviously you want to do well in front of your own fans. It is going to be very difficult, but we are up for the challenge.”

Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 6 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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