Bonginkosi Ntuli - Fact File

Arrows Ntuli Attracting Interest From The Big Three

Although Golden Arrows’ first half of the season was nothing to write home about, Bonginkosi has provided a glimmer of hope with his goal scoring exploits and could be just the man to lead the team out of the relegation zone. The burly striker has come on in leaps and bounds since being handed his senior team debut in the 2011/12 campaign. He had an interview with Sabie Chili, sharing his experience and excitement at attracting interest from the big clubs and talks about what’s going wrong at the club.

Personal Information
Full names: Bonginkosi Excellent Ntuli
Date of birth: 28 March 1991
Place of birth: Pietermaritzburg

Nickname: Bongs
Position: Striker
Jersey no: 27

Club: Golden Arrows
Previous Teams: 
Sobantu Shooting Stars
Golden Arrows reserve team

The Bongs, it`s been two years since you were promoted from Golden Arrows’ junior ranks. What do you make of your progress?
I got here in January 2012 and was still young, and not really used to how things are done at this level. The coach back then was Muhsin Ertugral and he gave me a chance to showcase my talent and helped me along the way. I must admit it was tough in the beginning, but things are okay now and I`ve started to play. Muhsin used to show me the mistakes I was making in a game and how to go about fixing them. He helped me a lot and I`m grateful to him.

This season you have played very well in all competitions.
Individually I can say I feel good, but as a team, eish, I don`t feel happy because the team is at the bottom of the league table and we need to move away from there. But, individually, there is not much to complain about.

What`s the problem? Why is the team not winning games?
I really can`t put a finger on what`s going wrong because in one game we play well and in the next it`s a different story. We had a meeting as players after the first few games of the season and we spoke about the mistakes we needed to fix because we are the ones who got the team into this situation. Things changed soon after that because in the following game we played well, I don`t know where it went wrong again, but from what I can see, we just have to have the team spirit and work together, both at training and on the field of play, to win the remaining games, and the last victory motivated us as players.

Wasn’t the team spirit there before?
No, it wasn`t as strong as it is now because there were new players and we didn`t understand each other. Like I said, we will fight until the end; we can’t lose hope because we are the ones who got the team into this situation.

Has the fact that the team has conceded a whopping 46 goals in 27 league games been demoralizing for you as a striker?
It does happen in a game where you score and then we concede. That really is demoralizing because it means they are sipping our energy. We are scoring on one end of the field and then the defenders concede on the other end. But you have to try not to let those things get to you. You have to pick yourself up and try to get back in the game immediately.

Okay, now let`s talk about the interest you seem to be attracting from the 'Big Three'.
It`s huge motivation to know that there are big teams watching me. It makes me want to push harder and score more goals as a striker so that they can continue to be interested in me. To be honest with you, I never really thought that at this stage of my career I would be attracting the interest of the big teams. I told myself I was going to play and establish myself here at Arrows and then see what happens. It came as a surprise to me when my agent told me about it.  Am I ready for a big move or not? Look, I don`t stress, I don`t have a problem with competition, because there is competition everywhere. I am not scared of anything.

Many players have moved from Arrows to the so-called big teams, only for things not to go their way. Surely that must make you think twice.
Look, other players come from the so-called small teams and then when they get to big teams they change their lifestyle. I think that affects most of the players. You don`t have to live a different lifestyle just because now you are in Joburg. You have to do things the way you used to do them when you were playing for a small team. For me I don`t have a problem going to Chiefs or Pirates or even Sundowns. I think if I go to one of those teams I can play because I`m still young and I will gain experience from the senior players there. There is a lot that I still need to learn.

How do you make sure you are always up for a duel with PSL defenders, some of whom have been playing at the top level for many years?
As a striker, what will always make you stand out, is scoring when you get a chance and creating chances for your teammates. But it`s the coach who helps me in terms of preparing for different teams and different defenders because it`s really not easy out there. What I have learnt though is that when you play in the PSL, you need to be strong. The gym helps me as well because when I`m not doing anything, I go to gym. But I still want to grow as a player and come up against some of the top defenders in the league.

Thank you Bongi, and all the best in your quest for PSL survival.
Thank you, my Brother.