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SA SOCCER NEWS
The Secrets To Scara Ngobese's Skill 26/04/05
Ever wondered how to perform the perfect shibobo in the way that Scara Ngobese of Kaizer Chiefs does? Find out how and why the Amakhosi ball wizard does what he does on the field...

The former Zulu Royals winger is one of the few players in the PSL at the moment that can set the crowd abuzz in an instant with one of his sublime touches, reminding the older fans of days-gone-by when such ball wizardry was a common occurrence in  South African soccer.

It took him some time to settle down in a star-studded Chiefs side, with some people already writing him off as 'a flop signing' early in the season, but Ngobese has bounced back and is now surely the most exciting players in the country.

There are times when his movement on the field is so mesmerizing that the all the players, as well as the crowd, believe that the referee has blown the whistle, only for him to burst back into action and leave defenders trailing in his wake.

Although some people say that there is no place for such showmanship in today's modern game, and although he is yet to earn a call-up to the national team, there can be no doubting the entertainment value the Katlehong-born player brings to the game.

In an interview in FullTime magazine, Scara explains in full how and why he plays the way he does.

One of Ngobese's trademark tricks is the shibobo, which he says he uses as a means of buying time and giving defenders something to think about before they try and dive into tackles.

"If I put the ball through his legs, then the next time the ball comes to me he won't be so quick to close me down. He will be scared and I can see it in his eyes," boasts Scara.

He then goes onto explain that the secret to performing a perfect shibobo is to perform the move at the very last possible moment.

"It has got to look like the last thing on your mind," he explains. "I make as if I don't see the defender coming to tackle me. When the defender is almost on me I make to pass and he stretches to intercept that pass. I don't even have to look, I know the legs are open now and I play the ball into that space at the last moment.

"I know its going to happen, the crowd know its going to happen, the defenders never seem to know its going to happen!"

Being a player of such great skill often makes a player like Scara a target for opposition defenders, while the opposition managers often tell the players to specifically go out and kick players who like to dwell on the ball.

Ngobese takes this all in his stride however.

"I don't run away from that player, never! he says with conviction. "I go straight to the player. I watch carefully to try and see which part of his body he is trying to hurt me with."

Asked if he tries to emulate the tricks of the top European-based players, Ngobese responded by saying that the way he learns new skills is to go and spend time in the townships, where shibobos and the like are in abundance.

"In my spare time I go to the townships to watch and learn. I'm not lying, there is more skill there than in the PSL," he points out.

Although Scara's style of play sometimes draws criticism for being selfish and lacking in direction, the player says there is no way he intends to change his unique style.

"If I stopped playing like this it means I would be finished. I would no longer be of use to Chiefs if I was told to change my style completely."

* For the full Scara Ngobese interview, as well as great articles on Jabu Pule, Samuel Ngobeni and Alfred Phiri, Jomo Sono, and more, be sure to check out the latest FullTime magazine, now in the shops.

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