Giorgi Nergadze - Fact File

Nergadze Happy To Be At Wits

One of the most underrated midfielders in the PSL, Giorgi Nergadze has moved after a four-year stint with Moroka Swallows to join Bidvest Wits. He follows in the footsteps of a couple of key Dube Birds players to leave the team, after not being offered a new deal. The Georgia-born midfielder talks about the switch and why the Clever Boys were his best bet, after some considerable interest in his services.

Personal Information
Full names: Giorgi Nergadze
Date of birth: 26 August 1982
Place of birth: Kutaisi, Georgia
Nickname: Nerga
Position: Defender/Defensive -Midfielder
Jersey no: 5
Club: Bidvest Wits
Previous clubs: FC Interi Kutaisi, FC Samgurali Tshaltubo-on loan, FC Borjomi-on loan (all Georgia), Moroka Swallows.
Honours: 2005 & 2008 Georgia League champion, 2009 Georgia Cup winner, 2005 & 2008 Georgia Super Cup winner with Tbiisi, 2012 MTN8 with Swallows.

Nerga, for a Swallows supporter, it doesn’t make sense that the club would get to the last few months of your contract without saying anything about an extension. Can you put your finger on why that happened?

I don`t know, I remember in November, we spoke with Leon Prins, they said they need me, and wanted me to sign a new contract, but from then until May, nothing materialised and I couldn`t wait. I had to move on. I know the Swallows fans are sad to see me go, but this is how things happen in football sometimes. I would like to say thank you to them for supporting the team and me during my time there, but you know, it`s football. Today you are here and maybe tomorrow you are somewhere else. There are a lot of memories from my time with the club and there were some nice lessons and unfortunately, some bad seasons. But overall it was very nice.

What is it about Wits that enticed you, as there was also interest from elsewhere?
Firstly, I had to go to Giorgia to talk to the teams that were interested in me. I cannot do business over the phone so I had to meet them face to face, talk to them and then choose what`s best for me. I went there and like I said, it was a big problem and so I didn’t sign the contract. After that I spoke to my agent here and I decided to sign for Wits. You know, I have nothing against Bloemfontein Celtic. It`s a big team and they have a huge fan base. I hope and I`m sure everything is quality there, top class but for me, it was a personal thing because I felt I had to remain in Joburg. I was here in Bedford view and my wife is working here and my kids attend school here. If you go to Bloemfontein, you must change everything you know. You must take your kids out of school and your wife must leave her job. For us, my family and not just me, it was the best choice. We have been here in Bedford view and my wife is still working at the same place and the same applies for the kids schooling.

Okay, have you been surprised with the progress you have made since coming to South Africa in 2010?

No, I`m not surprised because it`s me. I`m doing my best. If the supporters are saying that Giorgi is good, it means it`s true. I don`t like to talk about myself, but if some supporters say I`m a good player, maybe I am. I don`t know, I`m not surprised and it doesn`t matter where I`m playing. I`m always giving my best. It`s my job and I`m getting paid for this to do my best. It doesn`t matter where I am, Swallows or Wits, doesn`t matter.

What are your impressions about South African Football?
The level is very good here. It`s high and it`s fast football, very technical. I like this very much and also, the facilities are perfect and world class. What more could a player want? Everything is perfect and I like it.

Since you can play as both a defender and defensive midfielder, some believe you have been brought in as Mathew Booth`s replacement?
I know I can play in both positions, but it doesn`t matter where I start. Like I said, I will do my best and that`s it. I will for it.

Can you please tell us a bit about football back in your home country?
Georgia is a small country and we have some legendary players there. We have not qualified for the World cup in recent times, but I think we have been unlucky in most instances. Our National team is struggling a little bit, but you know, the level of Georgian football is normal. We have many good and talented players, but what I can say is we are a little bit lazy. But with the talent that we have, we can go far. Football is improving now in Georgia, as well as the facilities, especially in the last two to three years. Let`s hope everything will be okay in the future.

Thank you Nerga for your time, and all the best at the Students.
Thank you.