Laffor making his way into the first XI
IN ANY other team in the Premier Soccer League, Anthony
Laffor would be first choice. But not at Mamelodi Sundowns,
where he has Lebohang Mokoena and Elias Pelembe as
competitors on the wings.
Laffor joined Downs from SuperSport United in last month and
has come on as a substitute in his first two games for the
club. On both occasions he immediately made his presence
felt with quality crosses and his work rate.
Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens is being patient with Laffor,
admitting that the Liberian is making progress towards full
fitness and is likely to make a major impact in the
Laffor was signed to add strength to a Sundowns midfield
that was already working efficiently in the first half of
Neeskens says he "loves" his new player's contribution and
reckons Laffor is not far from forcing his way into the
"He's only played two games coming off the bench and I know
he is a quality player. I love his work rate and you know
when a player joins a new team he wants to work hard and do
more than his teammates to get a chance to play," said
Neeskens after Sundowns' goalless draw with Jomo Cosmos on
Mokoena and Pelembe have been used on the wings where Laffor
proved a perfect fit against Amazulu and Cosmos.
Neeskens acknowledges it would be difficult to sacrifice
either to bring on Laffor, but it is a possibility.
It could happen as soon as Friday night when Sundowns take
on Moroka Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium.
"He started later than the rest of the team before the
second half of the season and it is the way we work to start
him off the bench in a few games, but the quality is there,"
said the coach.
"I love the fact that I am forced to make tough decisions
with my line-up instead of having to pick a player because
there really is no one else to compete for that position."
The former Galatasaray (Turkey) assistant coach said, unlike
most of his counterparts, that he would thrive in taking
charge of a team that has 24 players who all put in the same
amount of effort.
He has that at Sundowns, being able to leave out Katlego
Mphela, the country's leading marksman, in previous games
and opting for another striker in Nyasha Mushekwi.