Amajimbos have played their first match in their first ever FIFA World Cup U-17, and will be looking to correct their errors in their match second group E when they face Korea DPR.
Amajimbos have played their first match in their first ever FIFA World Cup U-17, and will be looking to correct their errors in their second group E match when they face Korea DPR. SAFA Media took some time out to speak to Athenkosi “BaGhana BaGhana” Dlala, who is an important part of the Amajimbos spine.
NM: Athe, thank you for speaking to us. Having lost your first match against Costa Rica in the World Cup, what is the mood in the camp?
AD: Well, to be honest with you, we were very unhappy after the match, and the spirit in the camp was very low. We woke up the following day and spoke about the fact that we are not out of the tournament, and have to work hard in our next two matches. So we lifted the spirits the only way we know how, by singing our normal war cries. We went back to training and got back to work.
NM: You play a very important role in the heart of the South African midfield; give us a brief description of some of your roles?
AD: My main roles are to stop goals from being created, to create goals for my team and to score goals. I am also one of the playmakers of the team.
NM: Do you think that Amajimbos can come back from the defeat against Costa Rica, and if so, what will you and your teammates do differently against Korea DPR come Thursday night?
AD: YES! We can bounce back and we will. We will make sure we convert the chances we get and to go into the match with a better attitude than we did in our opening match. Now that the nerves have settled and we are not debutants anymore in the world cup I believe we will play our normal game, which got us here in the first place.
NM: In your personal opinion, how has the World Cup been thus far holistically?
AD: So far so good. Although we have had our challenges, we must deal with them in order to become better footballers. With regards to the tournament itself, we have seen how competitive other nations are. We have witnessed 6-1 and 5-1 thrillers in some other group matches; and that makes us so much hungrier to achieve great things.
NM: Worldwide, players who play the same position as you normally score a lot of marvelous goals from range. What are your capabilities of shooting from range and do you think you have what it takes to assist the strikers with some of those world class goals?
AD: I am very capable of shooting from range, so hopefully one day I will also be regarded as one of those players who scores ‘marvelous’ goals. I had one opportunity in our match against Costa Rica but the keeper made a save. I do practice some of those shots in training and I believe that if I am given enough space, at the right angle and distance; my name will also be amongst the goal scorers in this world cup.
NM: Name 3 footballers who have inspired your style of play or those that you look up too and why?
AD: Gennaro Gattuso, Andile Jali and Thabo September. They are good role models and have set good examples for upcoming youngsters like myself. They are the orchestras of their teams, have great team spirit and a lot of work ethic on the field.
NM: On a lighter note, your nickname is BaGhana BaGhana, what is the meaning of this nickname and how did you get it?
AD: *laughs* my teammates call me BaGhana BaGhana because they say I play like Ghanaian legend Micheal Essien. The word BaGhana BaGhana came about in 2010 during the FIFA World Cup back home, when all Africans came together to support the Ghana National Team, as they were the only Africa team left in the tournament.
Athe BaGhana Dlala, thank you for speaking to SAFA Media and on behalf of all South Africans we wish you all the best in your next match, when Amajimbos take on Korea DPR on Thursday, 22 October 2015 at 17:00 (SA time 22:00).