Ernst Middendorp warns Kaizer Chiefs rising star Bruce Bvuma to stay grounded


Bvuma was recently part of the Bafana setup for their final 2019 AFCON qualifier against Libya, after being thrusted into the number-one position for Chiefs’ Nedbank Cup campaign.

The 24-year-old has since grown in stature, having experienced a magnificent atmosphere in his first ‘senior’ international camp, amongst some of the biggest players from South Africa.

Upon his return, however, Middendorp is wary of the possible effects that experience could have on his head space, with many new faces homing in on his newfound fame.

“I only have to check now with him, you know at this time you get a lot of new friends and new interest from brothers, uncles, and new people coming to the market,” said Middendorp.

“And then you probably get carried away, so it’s important now for him to keep his feet on the ground, not to fly around and catch butterflies, and make sure he is solid and concentrated to his job.

“Otherwise, it’s good for him, he had a good experience and that’s all. I’m very happy that he’s back and not having any injuries, which is important for me right now.

“These last four weeks have been like a dream for him, hence it’s important to reiterate, ‘Stay on your feet. Don’t catch butterflies. Don’t be with new friends. You will be surprised by what’s coming.’ And that’s the most important stuff, that he has to get his attitude right.”

The German further clarified what he meant by ‘new friends’, warning against old acquaintances that want to either benefit from the spotlight.

“Your family members that have never called you [before], all of a sudden they call you again. You don’t even know you have an uncle in Limpopo,” he explained.

“You have brothers, who you’ve last seen when you finished school five years ago. You get agents, who post already on social media congratulations and you’re dominating social media and presenting the players more than their own clients.

“Outside there is crazy, and can you imagine you’re coming from nowhere and all of a sudden into this spotlight, so it’s normal that we have to mentor and talk with these types of players. 

“Thank God we have good communication on the inside here, with Lee Baxter – definitely somebody who’s capable of knowing exactly what we mean.”

Bvuma is set to feature for Chiefs when they take on Cape Town City in their Nedbank Cup quartefinal at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon (15h00).

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