Clayton Daniels - Fact File

Celtic’s Player Of The Season On His Way To SuperSport

Clayton Daniels joined Mamelodi Sundowns from Ajax Cape Town in 2011 with high hopes, but was completely out of the picture in the last six months of his career at the club. Out of the blue, a lifeline at Bloemfontein Celtic appeared at the beginning of the season barely six months into his contract with the Mangaung-based side, the 29-year-old defender has signed a pre-contract with SuperSport United, who he will be joining next season. What motivated the move? What does he have to say to the Phunya Sele Sele supporters who feel he dumped the club that saved his career? Sabie Chili had a chat with the Cape Town-born defender.

Personal Information
Full Name:  Clayton Michael Daniels
Date Of Birth: 10 July 1984
Place of birth: Bishop Lavis, Cape Town

Nickname: Hare
Position:  Defender
Club: SuperSport United

Previous Clubs:
Celtic United
Riverside Rangers
Clyde Pinelands
Ajax Cape Town
Mamelodi Sundowns
Bloemfontein Celtic

2006 Telkom Knockout runner-up
2007 ABSA Cup winner
2008 Telkom Knockout runner-up (all with Ajax)
2011/12 Nedbank Cup runner-up
2012 Telkom Knockout runner-up (both with Sundowns)

Hi Clayton, do you feel you have met the expectations of the club`s fans? Ja, I think I have come a long way you know.
I have been playing this game for a while. When I played against Celtic over the years I`ve learned what kind of support they have. Their supporters are very loyal, and have also helped me in my game since I got here. They are a 12th man on the field for us and they give us the boost to go the extra mile. I’m also grateful to them for always being there through thick and thin.

When you came in, Clinton Larsen was the coach, but he was later replaced by Ernst Middendorp. That`s two different coaching philosophies that you had to get used to.
It`s was simple for me to stick to what I came here to do and just keep on working hard. I’m just a player. I`ve got experience and the mental strength. I have got the character. I`ve come a long way and played for a couple of teams and had a couple of coaches, so I`m used to that. It`s all just down to hard work for me. I`ve been working hard and giving my all. I listen to the coaches instructions so for me it`s not a big deal. In football, coaches come and go. Players also come and go too. It`s normal. As long as I stay professional in my approach to the game, then that`s what is important.

Just tell us about Ernst Midderndorp. I think we have a wonderful coach.
We have one of the most experienced and knowledgeable coaches in the league. Celtic has been blessed to have a coach like him because the game plan he puts out, the tactics , the training, his winning mentality and personality and his football philosophy, it`s amazing. The team is really blessed to have a coach like that and I enjoyed working under a coach with his vast experience. He is a carbon copy of Muhsin Ertugral. He is exactly the same, especially the way he does things and his mentality. I’ve known Muhsin for a very long time. He brought me up from the development structures at Ajax Cape Town and what I have been getting from Ernst is exactly the same.

Ok, let`s move on. What motivated you to join SuperSport United? 
SuperSport United have a coach that coached me during my youth days at Ajax, Cavin Johnson. I know him and he knows me very well. It`s a new team he has assembled, they are a club that is always in the top four.  They are always challenging for silverware and they often reach the cup finals. That`s why it was easy for me to make the decision. I want to challenge for trophies. I want to win things.

On the other side, the Celtic supporters can`t be happy with your move.
You know, like they say here at Celtic, you only cry twice, the time when you arrive and the time when you leave. Those are the only times you cry here, so I will soon be on the other side and all I can say to the Celtic supporters is that they have my 150% commitment to the club. They are very loyal, they have been singing at every game and some of them have travelled with us to away games. I respect that and I like that about the club.

Even neutral supporters believe that you should stay at Celtic, as you have been enjoying your game in Bloemfontein.
It`s good news that people are happy for me and with the progress that I have been making this season. I really appreciate the support I`ve been getting from everyone. It`s a good thing and I`m happy that people who support football wanted me to stay at Celtic, but you know, it`s part of life, I have to move on with my career.

Thanks for your time man, all the best next season. 
Thank you.