Thabiso Nkoana - Fact File

Nkoana Hoping To Repay Ajax With Goals

On loan Ajax Cape Town striker, Thabiso Nkoana, says his mission this season is to repay the faith shown by Urban Warrior’s coach, Rodger De Sa, by scoring many goals for Ajax. He explains why he left SuperSport United to join Ajax.

Personal Information
Full names: Thabiso Nkoana
Date of birth: 28 October 1992
Place of birth: Atteridgeville, Gauteng
Nickname: Jetro
Position: Striker
Jersey no: 20
Club: Ajax Cape Town ( on loan from SuperSport United)
Previous Clubs: 
Mamelodi Sundowns juniors
Blackburn Rovers
SuperSport United
2010 Bayhill Cup
2012 Nedbank Cup winner
2012 MTN8 runner-up 
2012 Nedbank Young Player of the Season (all with SuperSport United)

Hi Jetro, how do you feel about your loan move?
It feels great to be part of the Ajax team. I’m looking forward to improving as a player under coach De Sa. My dream is to improve. I have been brought here to score goals for the team and I know that. Ajax have given me an opportunity to make up for lost time because, as you know, I didn’t play that much last season.

Having spent most of your football career around Pretoria, how are you finding the Cape?
Our former coach, Gavin Hunt, used to bring us down here to Cape Town, so I’m familiar with the surroundings. The only difference is that I’m not with my family. This is the first time that I have not been with my family, but I’m no longer a child, I can cope without a family.

Tell us about the move to Ajax. How did it happen?
What happened is that I grew frustrated with limited game time at SuperSport, so I asked the club to let me go on loan to a club that would give me enough playing time. I was then told that coach De Sa wanted me down here in Cape Town, so I came to train with Urban Warriors and it didn’t take long before I signed. My immediate aim now is to repay the coach for having shown faith in me.

You suffered a shoulder injury last season. How did that injury affect your playing time at SuperSport United?
That injury did play a part in me not playing many games for SuperSport last season. It was not the only injury, though, and every time I recovered from injury, I would play one or two games and then get another injury. That was very frustrating for me.

We can imagine, but injuries are part of the game. How do you plan to stay injury free at Ajax?
I think I need to stay focused and I need to do the right things, on and off the field. I also need to train properly and stay away from cold drinks and drink more fruit juice. I also need to avoid hasty tackles on the field.

How does it feel to know that you were brought to Ajax by a coach that believes in you as a player?
It feels great to play for a coach that believes in you. Coach De Sa is a very good coach. Everybody saw what he did at Orlando Pirates when he took the team all the way to the final of the CAF Champions League. His record with young players also speaks for itself, so I’m sure that we will do well together here at Ajax. I just wish that I can repay the faith he has shown in me by scoring many goals for Ajax this season.

What are you hoping to achieve with Ajax this season?
If I could help the team to finish in the top five and also win one cup, I would be very happy. On a personal level,  I just wish I could find the back of the net on a regular basis and maybe challenge for the PSL Top Goalscorer Award, but even if I don’t win it, I would still be happy if the team achieves its goals this season.

Did the arrival of Thabani Mthembu and Lerato Manzini influence on you leaving Matsatsantsa and joining the Urban Warriors?
To a certain extent it did because when I arrived, I asked myself why the team is buying other strikers when there was someone like me waiting in the wings to get a chance to play. I then realised that I wouldn’t play that much this season, so I asked the club management to let me go and they agreed. Look, I’m not scared of competition, but one has to be realistic about things. The coach wouldn’t have signed the two strikers if he had no intentions of using them, so I realised that if I stayed with SuperSport United, then chances of me playing as a striker were slim, and I didn’t want to be used on the wings as was the case last season.

Okay, thank you very much, all the best.
Thanks man.