Q & A with Lucky Lekgwathi - Part 2

2015-01-27 14:35
Lucky Lekgwathi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates captain and long serving defender, Lucky Lekgwathi, took an hour off his hectic schedule to spend an hour doing an exclusive Q & A session with Sport24.

Read Part One of the Lucky Lekgwathi interview HERE!

Q: The double treble winning squad. Can you attribute it as the best Pirates squad ever?

A: Eish, No. I think it was the second best after the 1995 CAF Champions league winning squad. Yes I was not playing yet in 1995 but I used to watch them in those times. They were very consistent and were hungry for success. They are the ones who put South African football on the map.

 Q: You have scored plenty of goals as a defender, which goal will you always remember most for years to come and why?

A: The one against Dynamos in 2002 at Orlando Stadium. And another one against Dynamos again in 2004/05 season at the Johannesburg Stadium. It was a free kick just after the centre circle and I told the guys that this is going all the way to the net, and it went straight in. We won 3-1 on the day.

Q: We are currently conceding goals in almost every game since the passing of Senzo Meyiwa. Do you think your leadership at the back is missing? And do you think our defence is doing enough to protect the young Brighton Mhlongo?

A: I think that the only thing lacking is a good communication between our defenders and goalkeeper. We have quality defenders who are senior players like Happy Jele, Siyabonga Sangweni, Rooi Mahamutsa and Thabo Matlaba. I think once we manage to communicate effectively all our problems at the back would be solved. Brighton Mhlongo is a good goalkeeper and he is improving in each and every game he plays. We are just exposing him at the back.

Q: What are the chances of Pirates repeating their tremendous form of the 2013 CAF Champions League when they play in the Confederations cup this year?

A: Obviously hard work is always a key. Firstly, we need to motivate ourselves by watching all our CAF Champions league videos, especially games against TP Mazembe, Esperance and Al Ahly. Experiences will also count and we as senior players need to share our knowledge with the new players who were not there. For example, Lennox Bacela didn’t start with us in 2013 but when he came we shared our knowledge with him and he was scoring goals for us.

Q: How was VV as a coach? And how did you relate to him as players?

A: He was a good coach with a father figure. He was very honest with all players and he didn’t have any favouritism. Even if you are a star or senior player, if you play bad you will be on the bench the next game until you redeem yourself.  He was one of the coaches who respected me but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t shout at me when I make mistakes.

Q: What do you plan to do after retiring?

A: I just want to be around the players here at Pirates. I have played with them and I must remind them of my days and how to cope under pressure and how to do the extra trainings on their own, because sometimes I am the last one to leave training and also arrive first the following day.  I hope I will continue adding value to them

Q: As a player, which footballer do you look up internationally?

A: Internationally is Javier Zanetti of Inter Milan. He is a great leader and hard worker. Also Carlos Puyol from Spain. I was looking up to him because of his leadership skills and whenever he is not playing you could see that there is no leadership, which also applies to Pirates when am not playing.

Q: Tell us in brief about your family and how your childhood was?

A: I have four sisters and I am the only brother in the family. My family is very supportive. Even after school when I told them I want to be in the football industry they were supportive. I remember when I joined Pirates, everyone was happy for me. My relatives and grannies who used to support Sundowns changed to support Pirates because of me. Even when things were not going well they always offered their support.

Q: What do you do outside football? Any occupation?

A: No. I don’t have any occupations outside football. I always wanted to focus on playing soccer for the duration of my career then I will see what to do after playing.

Q: If you were not a footballer, what would you be doing for a living?

A: I always wanted to be a soldier when I was still doing my matric. I had a friend who we use to motivate each other about joining the military. We even submitted our applications and after matric I went to trials at Ria Stars and succeeded, and that was when I decided to stick with soccer. My friend is currently in military.

Q: Which car(s) do you drive currently?

A: Yes I’m a footballer, but one thing I have always learned from the chairman is to invest money. I was driving a sponsored car last year, the Chevrolet Trailblazer, and currently I’m driving an Opel Corsa bakkie. I’m not really into cars am more focused on investing money for my kids as the chairman always advises us to invest. He always tell us that we’ll always want to maintain our current lifestyles even after football. 

Read more on:    orlando pirates  |  psl  |  lucky lekgwathi  |  soccer

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