AJAX Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral hopes midfielder Gerald Takwara can follow in the footsteps of revered former Kaizer Chiefs hard-man, Tinashe “Father” Nengomasha and become one of the best holding midfield players in South Africa.
BY HENRY MHARA
Takwara joined the struggling South African premier league side last week on a three-year contract and was handed his debut as a half-time substitute in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns.
His first appearance was a decent one, as he helped break up Sundowns’ attacks and stabilised his team’s midfield, a performance that drew praise from Ertugral, the man credited with bringing Nengomasha to Chiefs before developing him into a feared anchor-man in the league.
While many see a young Willard Katsande in Takwara probably because of their similarly strong-built physiques, Ertugral reckons the former FC Platinum player could be the next Nengomasha if he puts more shift to his work.
Interestingly, Takwara prefers to be called “The General,” a nickname that was given to Nengomasha when he arrived in South Africa as a fresh-faced boy in 2002 before spending a trophy-laden decade at Chiefs.
“Takwara showed what kind of player he can be,” Ertugral said after the match against Sundowns. “But he is not fit enough and not powerful enough. I don’t mean in the physique, but rather the acceleration. His first three or four metres need to be quicker.
“When Tinashe [Nengomasha] first came me [at Kaizer Chiefs], he was a lot like that.
“Some players you need to train in speed forms, so we need to work on that and I think it will kick in in two or three weeks and then we will have a different Takwara.”
Takwara arrived at Ajax with the reputation of a tough tackler, and it took only 45 minutes for him to get his first booking in the Absa Premiership when he went hard on Sundowns skipper, Hlompo Kekana.
Ajax decided to sign the gritty midfielder after his impressive showing for the Warriors at the Cosafa Cup in July last year, where he helped the team to the title.