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Lerato Manzini - Fact File

Manzini Looking To Revive His Career At SuperSport 

Bloemfontein Celtic loaned striker Lerato Manzini to Supersport United after a frustrating 2013/14 season under Ernst Midderndorp at Phunya Sele-Sele. The 22-year-old had been one of the top performers at Celtic and was scoring goals for the Free State Province outfit before changes were made to the technical team. The Welkom-born player tells SBN about his frustrating experiences at Celtic under the club`s head coach.

Personal Information
Full Name:  Lerato David Manzini
Date Of Birth: 14 August 1991
Place of birth: Welkom, Free State

Nickname: Ibrahimovic
Position:  Striker
Jersey No:  25

Current Club: SuperSport United
Previous Club: Harmony sports Academy,
Harmony FC, Blackburn Rovers and Bloemfontein Celtic
Honours: 2012 Telkom knockout winner                          

Ibrahimovic, you left Celtic on loan after a disappointing season. What can you tell us about your move? 
First of all, I want to thank God, who has always been there for me. I thank him for everything that he has done for me while I was at Celtic. With the ups and downs and everything that has been happening. I have managed to stay strong. I didn`t quit and I never gave up. I remained strong for a long time until I spoke to my parents and my agent about the situation. The decision about the move which came.

The 2012/13 season was one of your best at Celtic as you scored seven goals in 16 starts, compared to eight starts and three goals last season. What went wrong? 
In the previous season (2012/13) when Clinton Larsen was still there, I was really enjoying my football. I was playing on a regular basis and Larsen had given me a lot of confidence. He believed in me and always motivated me. I think it becomes easier when the coach believes in you. Sometimes you do things that you never thought you could because you know you are free to play your normal game. It`s completely differen’t playing football while under pressure because you want to impress the coach. That`s hard If I`m not the kind of player who fits in the coach’s style of play.

Which team did you support when you were young? 
Kaizer Chiefs

Do you feel that you worked hard enough at training to deserve a chance to play regularly last season? 
Ja, I’ve always worked hard, I`ve been playing for Celtic for two years. Now, in the third year, I`m not working hard and stuff like that? Where does this come from?

In October last year Celtic announced the extension of your contract and you also confirmed signing a two-year deal to the Media. Surely, at the time, you were confident of making progress with the club. Do you regret extending your contract, seeing how things turned out? 
Actually, I extended my contract because I talked to Larsen. My contract was expiring in June the following year. Larsen told me that the club wanted to give me another two years. He said I should go for it. He wanted me at the club and I felt like it was a good decision at the time. Sometimes things happen in football. Soon after that, after playing one or two games, we heard that coach Larsen had resigned. It was very painful especially after just signing a two-year contract.

You have joined SuperSport United on loan. When did you realise that you needed a move? 
There were a lot of of things that were happening behind the scenes, but you know as a professional there are things that you do not say. There are people that you cannot say things about. At the end of the day, there are things that make me unhappy. I have been quite for too long. This thing has been haunting me inside.

You are on-loan at SuperSport United, so Celtic might call you to return at the end of the deal? 
I will see but I don`t want to say anything about a situation like that. Now I play for SSU. Life has to go on. There is no turning back in life. That`s one thing I can tell you.

How do you plan to revive your career at SuperSport United and start scoring goals again? 
I have to work hard to get my confidence back. I have to believe in myself again. Anything is possible and scoring goals is not a problem. To score goals you need to have a clear mind. I`m at a new club with new surroundings and I just have to adapt quickly. 

Thank you for your time, best of luck this season. 
Thanks man.