Jabulani Maluleke - Fact File

Maluleke Working Hard To Share His Talent

Jabulani Maluleke left SuperSport United for Polokwane city in search of a regular spot in the first team. Lack of game time at Matsatsantsa resulted in the skillful midfielder making little progress on the field in the last three seasons. The Soweto-born player had an interview with Sabi Chili about the highs and the lows with the Tshwane side. He also talks about the importance of playing regularly at his age and his wish to show football fans who he really is.

Personal Information
Full Name:  Jabulani Maluleka
Date Of Birth: 17 March 1982
Place of birth: Soweto, Gauteng

Nickname: Majova
Position:  Midfielder
Current Club: Polokwane City

Previous Clubs:
Dangerous Darkies
Black Leopards
SuperSport Utd

2009/10 Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup with SSU

Hola Mavoja, why didn`t you play much at SuperSport this season? 
The coach makes the decisions and I have to respect that. I was hoping that I would play in the second half of the season. I was hoping for a chance to showcase my talent like I used to in the past. I was hoping that things would go my way in the last six months of the season. I respect the coach`s decisions because he has to work according to the plan for specific games. I`m happy that I played in some of the games just before the end of last year and I think I did well in the games I played in November and December.

As one of the senior players at SuperSport when you were there, did you speak to Cavin Johnson about your lack of game time? 
The coach helped me a lot. I had one-on-one discussions with him where we would sit and talk about stuff. He gave me feedback on my performances whenever I got a chance to play in his team. He advised me on where I needed to improve. He is the kind of coach that I was very close to because he is friendly to his players. He is like a father figure. We treated him with respect because he respected us as well.

You haven`t played much in recent seasons, with eight league starts in the 2011/12 season and seven in the 2012/13 campaign. Was there a stage where you felt like you proved yourself in the team and relaxed a little bit?
For me it has always been about going to training and working hard. I am always ready to play whenever I`m given a chance. I think I’m the kind of player who works hard whether I`m playing or not. But it`s true that I didn`t play much in those two years. Maybe the coaches felt that I wasn`t at the level they expected me to be at. I will still work hard and get to where I want to be. I need to play more at this stage in my career because I’m not young anymore. I need to play to get myself to where I want to be.

It came as a surprise when you extended your contract with SuperSport at the end of last season based on your stats for the last two seasons. Why didn`t you go to another club at the time?
I think the coach had faith in me when he came to the team. We sat down and we spoke. He said that I`m the kind of player he needed. He wanted to give me another year and that`s when I signed a new contract. The team also had faith in me that I could still offer something. The chairman (Khulu Sibiya) and I spoke after we finished playing our games at the end of last season and everything was fine.

You are skillful and have the ability to take good free-kicks. It came as a surprise for some people that you weren`t playing much at SuperSport. Were you worried by your situation?
I was worried because at my age I need to play more often. I think I still have a lot to offer the football fans. I know my ability and given a chance, I won`t disappoint them. I will showcase my talent so they can see who I am, where I come from and what I have learnt about the game. I think I have been playing professional football in the PSL for almost 12 years. I have been playing for a long time and that`s why I say I need to show what I have learnt from the people that I worked with over the years. I am thankful  to the fans that have supported me through thick and thin over the years. They have always been there for me. Football fans like skillful players but we have an era of modern football and we play more directly nowadays. As individual players, we have different skills and we need to use those skills to our advantage on the field.  For example, my smaller frame doesn`t allow me to go into 50/50 tackles so I have to use my brain and talent to get out of those situations on the field.

We wish you well, Majova. 
Thank you.