Absa Premiership

Cardoso: I wouldn't be here if not for Komphela

Daniel Cardoso (Gallo Images)
Daniel Cardoso (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs centre-back Daniel Cardoso has thanked head coach Steve Komphela for playing a crucial role in the advancement of his career.

It was under Komphela at previous club Free State Stars where Cardoso made his breakthrough into the Absa Premiership. 

Before that, he had struggled to make the grade at the Jomo Cosmos, Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits academies.

The central defender was close to walking away from the game until his father persuaded him to give it another shot, this time at Free State Stars.

Komphela liked what he saw and handed the now 28-year-old his top-flight debut in the 2012/13 season, Cardoso going on to play in 24 league matches. "He gave me my breakthrough," Cardoso told Amakhosi's website. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be where I am now."

He then joined his coach at Chiefs in July 2015 and although he's had some serious injury problems, the central defender has been firing on all cylinders this season and has been a regular starter at the back.

Cardoso also credited current SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler, as having been an important influence in his career, as well as Bradley Carnell, the former Chiefs left-back.

"I had always been a striker, scoring quite a number of goals, so I wasn't too happy at first (when Tinkler switched his position)," he admitted.

"But it eventually worked out well. I love this position, because of the responsibilities and the demands it comes with.

"I was at some stage without a club and participated in a tournament in Soweto. Bradley saw me play. He was thereafter always convinced that I would make it and started to help me."

Along with Maritzburg United, Chiefs have the best defensive record in the league this season – 11 conceded in 19 matches. 

Next up for Cardoso and his Amakhosi team-mates is a league clash against Bidvest Wits at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday evening.

kick-off is at 18:00.