Johnsons JIKA

Courtesy of LADUMA SOCCER (29/07/1999)


Hi soccer fans,

Its good to be back training again in preparation for the new season. We all moan and groan about the hard work, buts its a great feeling, getting to feel fit and strong. This time of the season all teams start equal and everyone has high hopes. No teams have been selected so all the players feel that they have a chance of making the starting eleven. Coaches Coaches have'nt lost a league game yet, so they are not under any pressure from the owners or the fans. Oh yes, its a time of high expectations!

As you know, I live in Jo'burg and obviously Manning Rangers are down in Durban, so I have been doing most of my pre-season training with Bafana Bafana goalkeeping coach Deshi Bhaktawar. Its going very well, definately much better than if I was in Durban. That may sound strange, but very few teams, including Manning Rangers have goalkeeping coaches. So most of the time we poor 'keepers' just end up doing what the outfielders are doing without any specialised work. Those of you who are goalkeepers will know exactly what I mean. So its much better with Deshi. He's training me 5 days a week for one and a half hours per day, so you can see that its quite hectic. We're doing a lot of running and stamina work besides the normal goalkeeping stuff, and its made me feel a lot sharper, mentally and physically.