The Urban Warriors mentor Muhsin Ertugral stated that they are proud as a club and he backed the midfielder, saying he is capable of taking his career to greater heights abroad.
“Yeah, I mean we always seem to be producing great players from the youth section. At Ajax, let me say, the first thing we look at is the development of the players and he did very well to get such an opportunity in Europe,” Ertugral told Goal.
“I would have loved to him stay longer with us, but there is more quality coming up to the senior team and there are players like Grant Margeman. We have another player coming up and you will remember that we had the likes of Clifford Ngobeni, Serero (Thulani) and others such as Daylon Claasen,” he said.
The Ikamva-based club also produced the likes of Steven Pienaar, who went on to play for Dutch giants, Ajax Amsterdam and other top European clubs, and Ertugral has urged the Hannover Park-born player to dream big.
“In the short time I spent with him, I noticed that he has something different. He has the ability to unlock a defence - a great mind to think quickly and when he receives the ball, he already has a solution and if he doesn't have a solution, he will have a great technique to find a teammate or beat his marker,” explained the coach.
“That is an exceptional talent and that is what you find in players such as Pienaar and Serero, but he must just be stronger because that is very important in international football, but his weapon is a very quick mind when under pressure,” he responded.
Moreover, the Turkish mentor insisted that Matthews will definitely make it in Europe and that his departure will serve as motivation to other South African youngsters.
“Yes, it is very important to remain disciplined in football. Great people didn't just achieve big things, but they remained dedicated to their dreams,” continued the mentor.
“I always tell the boys that if you want to go to the beach you can go, but someone else will work hard and play regularly for the club,” he said.
“I tell them that you must work very hard every day in order to reach the highest level. I don't have doubts that South Africa has talented and great players, but the dedication side of it is the problem,” said the former Kaizer Chiefs coach.
“In most cases, players are doing well in Europe because they are very dedicated and they have many years in their youth structures and they have the support that ensures that they are well developed,” he noted.
“You will find that here we do not have the right development to give them an opportunity from an early age, but I believe the youngsters will be inspired and work hard,” said Ertugral.
“I can say now that he's going to make it in Europe and at international level. He must stay humble and work hard to realise his potential and reach the desired level. He must always dream big like all the players in Europe and I know he will achieve success,” concluded the coach.