Monday, 15 August 2011

Player Profile: Duna

Name: Asanda 
D.O.B: 24/04/1987
Position: Right Wing / Centre Forward
Personal Description: I grew up in the Eastern Cape with my grandmother, 2 sisters and 1 brother. I left school at standard 8 when I failed. I like athletics and running.
Favourite Player: Siphiwe Tshabalala
When did you join the academy?: 2009
What do you want to do in the future?: To continue with my studies, to find work and to continue playing soccer.
What have you learnt in the Academy so far?
  • Discipline myself
  • I know what is wrong now
  • I'm feeling prepared for life outside

Duna has been in the academy for 2 years now and is a very talented guy. He's probably one of the best players in the team at the moment, playing on the right wing or up front when we need a bit of pace. That is one of his greatest assets as a player is his speed and fitness, which is largely down to his commitment in the fitness sessions in training. Whenever we do fitness, Duna always seems to be within the guys who finish first and have the quickest recovery time, and you can definitely see it roll over into the games as he will always give you 100% to the last minute. Duna is a fast and skillful winger, with a wicked cross and also great composure in front of goal, which has made him top goalscorer this season despite playing most of his games on the wing.
Duna about to fire in a free-kick in training
He is also a very tricky player, which is great at times but this is also probably his greatest weakness as well because he tries to do unecessary tricks a lot of the time instead of doing the simple pass or lay off. This is quite typical of south african football because the fans love tricks and will celebrate someone getting "nuts'd" more than an actual goal so you can see it in the players mindsets, that they would rather do a skill and embarrass another player than actually play the simple pass or take a shot. Obviously its good to do tricks at times, but it has to be done for a purpose and for the right reasons, which is something we're trying to drill into the boys in training. We're hoping that Duna can play in the Castle League when he gets out (which is the 4th tier of South African football) if not Vodacom (3rd tier) or higher.
Duna getting ready on match-day
It is not just on the pitch that Duna has talent though. He's also a great singer and dancer, always leading the match-day victory songs and putting on performances for visitors. There seems to be a new song every time we go in, so we've had an idea of possibly recording the boys doing their songs and making a CD to use to give to visitors and put on the website etc, which Duna seemed pretty excited about. Last year on family day, (usually a day in November where the families of the players come in to finish off the season before the December break) Duna led a performance which is now affectionately known as "The Duna Show". I've got the video, but it doesn't seem to want to let me upload it at the moment, so for now here's a still photo below of that performance last year. 
Duna (middle) in full swing on "The Duna Show"
Duna is a bit of a joker as well, which is always good for team spirit, we just have to make sure that all the joking around is in good spirit, which is why we always encourage the guys to speak in English so that we know what is being said as well as giving them a chance to practice their language skills. Duna does make me crack up though sometimes, and me and Bully have now started calling him 'Mr Motivator' because of his shinanigans in the fitness sessions. Duna is also one of the guys who we've scouted to be a potential leader in the Hope Academy in our search for a suitable vice-captain now that Zola has left. His experience and his good example on the pitch led us to see him as a good leader, as well as the fact that he is very attentive to us as coaches, is always willing to help and motivate other players (which we've noticed especially since he has been injured recently) and has also never got involved in gangs since he has been inside. He does need to learn to be a bit more thick skinned and humble if he is to take on the vice-captain role, as he can take things too personally at times, but generally he is applying a good attitude to the programme and is showing us that he wants to improve as a player and as a person.
DJ Duna in da house!
In terms of his future, Duna is one of the guys who is doing well in his schooling. He wants to continue his studies when he gets outside, but it seems that he wants to focus a lot of his attention on football. We can help him in this, and he has the potential to go quite far in his football. The only thing that could cause a problem in getting signed is his age, but it is by no means out of reach, as Chris has shown us (ex-Hope Academy player released in January) by currently playing at Castle level with the potential of Vodacom next season, as well as having trials at first and second division clubs. We'll see how he does for the rest of this year, but at the moment Duna is excelling in all areas of the programme and we hope it continues. 
Duna and Jade on family day last November

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