Dominic Isaacs - Fact File

Isaacs Confident That Ajax’s Young Team Will Deliver Soon

Isaacs`s move  from Bloemfontein Celtic to Ajax Cape Town caught many people by surprise, considering he was a regular at Siwelele, but the Cape Town-born defender says he wasn`t really surprised .

Personal Information 
Full names: Dominic Isaacs
Date of birth:  13 July 1982
Place of birth: Cape Town

Nickname: Domza
Position: Defender

Club: Ajax Cape Town

Previous clubs:
Sea Point Swift
Parkhurst United (all Amateur)
School of Excellence
Kaizer Chiefs
Bloemfontein Celtic

2000 Rothmans Cup winner (Ajax)
2008 MTN8 winner (Kaizer Chiefs)
2009 Vodacom Challenge (Kaizer Chiefs)
2010 Charity Cup winner (Kaizer Chiefs)
2010 Telkom Knockout winner (Kaizer Chiefs)
Telkom Knockout Winner (Bloem Celtic)

In this interview with Sabie Chili, Isaacs opens up about his move to Ajax and his role as the Urban Warriors’ captain.

How does it feel to come back to the Urban Warriors where it all began for you many years ago?
I`m happy to return home to Cape Town and be closer to my family after being away from them for such a long time. As you stated, I have made a full circle by returning to Ajax and I feel like I`m returning home after being away for so long. Over-all, it`s been an amazing journey for me and I`m happy to be back.

You made 20 starts in 30 league games for Celtic last season, meaning you were a regular in the team, but you were let go. It doesn`t make sense.
Well, nothing make sense in football. But, if you want an answer to why Celtic decided to let me go, you must ask the Celtic management, not me. I consider the Celtic chapter closed and I`m moving on with my life. I`m now focusing on helping Ajax do well this season.

What was the relationship between you and Clinton Larsen like?
I had a good working relationship with him. I have always had good relationships with all my coaches because for me, football is not a job, football is my life. So I always try to do my best for any club I play for. Above all, I always respect the coach in charge of the team. I respected Clinton Larsen as a coach. Clinton is one of the best coaches in the PSL and I enjoyed working under him. He is a knowledgeable coach, who is surrounded by a very good technical team. I didn`t have any problems with Larsen or anyone else at Celtic.

How does it feel to be reunited  with Muhsin Ertugral, whom you worked with during your time with Chiefs during the 2008/09 season?
I feel good to be working with Muhsin again. He is a passionate coach who demands only the best from his players. Sometimes that can be seen as arrogance, but if you know the man, you will know that he loves his players and only wants the best for them. I`m really happy to be working again with him.

Did Ertugral play any role in bringing you back to Ajax Cape Town?
Of course he did. I wouldn`t have been come down to Cape Town if he hadn`t been involved in the discussions about my move back to Ajax. This is the way it`s supposed to be because club bosses don`t work with you every day, so it`s important that the coach plays a bigger role in bringing a player to the club.

It seems Ertugral has great confidence in you as he has given you the captains armband.
Yeah, Muhsin has faith in me and his squad. He and I sat down and we discussed this captaincy role before he announced it. He told me that he wanted me to lead his team this season and I accepted. This is my 13th season in the PSL , so I couldn`t shy away from the responsibility of being captain. In the past, I worked closely with  him and  learnt a lot from people like Edelbert Dihna, Hans Vonk and Alfred Phiri, so I think I`m happy to be a leader at Ajax.

What about the responsibility of leading a relatively young Ajax side?
I don`t really see any difference because I have always been a leader. Having started at the young age of 17, I know how youngsters behave, so I won`t have a problem at all in leading this relatively young Ajax team. Plus, I`m surrounded by experienced players like Nathan Paulse, Franklin Cale, Granwald Scott, Lance Davids and others, so with their help, I`m sure that we will lead the young players in the right direction. We just have to be patient with these young players. We have a very talented bunch of players here and, in time, Ajax will be a force to be reckoned with in the PSL.

What are you hoping to achieve with the Urban Warriors as captain?
Obviously, I would love to win trophies because in football, you are not remembered for how many times you come second. Everyone remembers a winner, so I would like to be remembered as the captain that brought trophies to Ajax. However, like I said, we need to be patient, because we have assembled a relatively young and inexperienced team this season and these youngsters need time to adjust to the hardships of the PSL. I have no doubt though that, with Muhsin`s leadership, we will deliver trophies to Ikamva soon.

Lastly, as one of the Cape Town born players to have spent so many years at a big club like Chiefs, why do you think Cape Town born players struggle at big teams like Chiefs?
It`s difficult to say, you know, because there are so many factors that can lead a player to struggle at a big club. You might be signed by the management and the coach doesn`t like you or you might be signed by the coach and the management doesn`t like you. Another factor is the change of environment. As you know, Johannesburg is a big city and there are things that can distract you there. You need to be disciplined when playing for the big clubs because they pay you big salaries and you find yourself going out at night and also buying all sorts of things. With me, I had this attitude that I wouldn`t  let anyone or anything spoil my career at Chiefs. A player moving from Cape Town to Joburg must have that kind of attitude. He must stay away from friends who like partying and focus on his career.

Domza, thanks for your time and best of luck at Ajax.
Dankie mfwethu.