Moroka Swallows anchorman Giorgi Nergadze is one of the hardest working players you will find in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). The Georgian workhorse was an interesting signing in 2010.
Since then he has become a regular feature in the Birds starting line-up and has managed to etch his name in the club's history books with a screamer that set the Birds up for victory in the 2012 MTN8 Final.
In this, the first subject of the 'On The Road With' feature, Nergadze gives morokaswallows.co.za a sneak peek into life on the road of a Swallows player.
Has it become a normal to be on the road with the team? "We are often camping, so being on the road is nothing new. The only difference is that we camp in a different city for away games, in this case Durban (for the Golden Arrows match)."
How challenging is it to balance the travelling and living in hotels ahead of crucial matches? "We must always prepare ourselves, physically and mentally for every match. Sure it's nice that we fly in aeroplanes and sleep in hotels, but it is all part of the job; you can't let it get to your head."
You've played football in Georgia before, is there a major difference in the travelling between your home country and South Africa? "The difference is that South African football level is higher than Georgia. The camping and the travelling is the same; it's bus or plane and hotel. Georgia is also smaller; the population is about five million. A long drive there is about five to six hours, so I've travelled the longest here in South Africa."
Do you still feel like a tourist when travelling around South Africa? "It's my third year here at Swallows, so I feel like I'm part of a family here at the club. I feel South African, like a white Venda."
How tough is it to play away in-front of away fans? "It's not scary, but one must just be more focused because in an away game you're playing against a team that is playing at home; so you want to go there and win and get the three points. One must always go out and fight."