Mathoho eager to live up to Rio expectations

2016-08-02 17:55
Erick Mathoho (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs defender Erick Mathoho is confident he will have a big impact for South Africa at the Olympics despite not spending much time with the squad.

Mathoho was selected as one of two over-age players for the Olympics team and believes he is on the same page as head coach Owen da Gama in terms of what is expected of him in Rio.

"He wants me to help the team in the set-pieces, defending and attacking them," Mathoho told Vodacom Soccer website.

"Even last season when I wasn't performing well, I was still able to score. I finished the season with seven goals even though I am a defender. If I can bring that to the team, we can get something out of the tournament."

Mathoho is deadly at attacking set-pieces and just as solid on defence.

He gave another example of his prowess from dead ball situations during Chiefs 2-0 win over arch-rivals Orlando Pirates in the Carling Black Label Cup on Saturday.

He scored from a rebound of Bernard Parker's shot that hit the post and then went to make a clearance on the line to steer Chiefs to victory.

"There are no young people in football," Mathoho added. "We are all equal. There are 18 and 19-year-olds who are playing at the highest level all over the world.

"They're able to command the back. So there isn't that they can't do it because they're young. It comes with confidence.

"I also bring something to the team which is why the coach brought me here. I also shout when I need to. There is also Rivaldo (Coetzee) who is also a leader.

"I am glad that I have developed a good working relationship with the players even though I haven't been here that long. They listen and no one is big-headed.

"We all don't know everything, you learn from whoever you play with. I am learning from them just as they are learning from me," he concluded.

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