Celtic coach Maduka on flying solo: ‘It is all up to me to face this challenge’

Former captain John Maduka is now in charge at Bloemfontein Celtic followng the resignation of his co-coach Lehlohonolo Seema this week. Maduka will be assisted by another former player in Abram Nteo.
Former captain John Maduka is now in charge at Bloemfontein Celtic followng the resignation of his co-coach Lehlohonolo Seema this week. Maduka will be assisted by another former player in Abram Nteo.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

John Maduka has described his appointment as the coach of Bloemfontein Celtic as a “big responsibility” that he doesn’t take for granted.

Maduka‚ a loyal servant of Siwelele in various capacities over the years‚ was named head coach on Monday after Lehlohonolo Seema jumped ship to take a similar role at Chippa United in Port Elizabeth.

The former Malawian international‚ who was co-coach with Seema‚ will be assisted by other stalwarts of the club in former SA Under-23 midfielder Abram “Wire” Nteo and former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Simon Gopane.

“It’s a big responsibility for me‚ which I don’t take for granted but it is not about an individual to make things work‚” he said.

“It is going to be about working together as a team and my role is going to be more about galvanising the entire team to work towards one goal‚ which is to improve the team so that we are stronger and achieve our goals.

“You must remember I have been in this position for a while as co-coach with Lehlohonolo Seema and I am really looking forward to this challenge.”

Maduka added that he has always wanted to become a coach and he wants to use this opportunity to prove himself.

“Becoming a coach has always been a priority for me since I retired from playing. I was given the role of being a team manager first but at the same time I was getting ready to say that one day I will be a coach.

“When you want to do something‚ God will give you the opportunity and that opportunity has arrived for me to be the coach. It is all up to me to face this challenge.”

Maduka takes over under difficult circumstances with the team that had not have been able to train together for more than 100 days due to Covid-19‚ and he admitted that the situation is tricky.

“We have been away for a long time and we don’t have enough time to prepare and we also don’t know when the season is going to resume. We are in a tricky situation but that is the same with everyone.

“At the end of the day my responsibility is to make sure that the team is ready for the remaining games of the season. We must be properly prepared when the season resumes so that we go out there and be competitive.”

Maduka said he had learned from coaches like Steve Komphela‚ Ernst Middendorp and Serame Letsoaka.

“In life you learn every day and I learned a lot from the all the coaches who worked here at Celtic in the past. I learned from coaches like Steve Komphela‚ Veselin Jelušić‚ Serame Letsoaka and Ernst Middendorp even though I was the team manager during his time.”

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