Kaizer Chiefs long serving member Josta Dladla speaks with Goal about his time at AmaKhosi so far and what lies ahead of him as a player
By Ernest Makhaya
Goal: Josta thanks for making time to chat with us. Let’s first talk about your time at Chiefs, and perhaps what you would still want to achieve with them, assuming that you have achieved almost everything as a player.
Dladla: As a player you can never say you have achieved everything in football. I believe as long as I’m hungry for success then there is still something to achieve. We won the Nedbank Cup and the league last season, but we would like to defend them as a team and possibly add more.
Goal: You have worked with so many coaches in the past. How has it been working with Stuart Baxter at Kaizer Chiefs?
Dladla: Of all the coaches I have worked with as a player, I think Stuart Baxter is the best. His tactical approach to the game, how he sets the practice and plans for the game itself is amazing. I’d also believe that he helped improve my game as a player and he knows how to motivate his players. He doesn’t only focus on the offensive play, but also helps a lot of us in terms of defending. He allows you to be the player you are, and also to become a better person. He has taught me that I should stay humble in life, and as a humble person, one can go far in life. He’s an all-rounder.
Goal: A few weeks ago Baxter made a statement that Josta could be the ‘Ryan Giggs’ of Chiefs. What’s your impression on that?
Dladla: I never believed it when I first heard that, but it shows how much he values me as a player. I have never been second best in all the teams that I have played for, but I have adjusted under Stuart Baxter considering my age. Actually his statement opened my eyes. It means I am still an important player to the team. It also means I still have a lot to offer for this team.
Goal: Let’s talk about Chiefs’ chances to maintain their good form this season, especially now that teams have gone into the market to buy players who are capable of dethroning you guys.
Dladla: We are aware as champions that every team will want to beat us. They have bought players, but I think sometimes it’s good to keep the squad as small as possible. We have not bought players like other teams, but I think the return of Musona will also help the team. He is not new to the team, because he played with the majority of us before he left for Germany, but the aim is to keep the squad as small as possible.
Goal: Lastly, you have played in the Caf Champions League with Sundowns back in the years. How do you think Chiefs will do with the experience that you have in the competition?
Dladla: With the kind of coach we have [Stuart Baxter]; I think we will do well. We have a lot of international players in the team; the likes of Shabba [Siphiwe Tshabalala], [Morgan] Gould as well as Zimbabwean national players including the Katsande and Musona. So, I think we will surprise many in the Caf Champions League next year.
Goal: Josta, once again thanks very much for your time and best of luck for the future.