When the Premier Soccer League (PSL) registration list was released, the only new registration from the Birds' Nest was one Mike da Silva.
Da Silva was immediately assumed to be a new player by the Birds faithful, but it later emerged that he is actually Moroka Swallows' new fitness trainer.
morokaswallows.co.za had a chat with the new man tasked with keeping the Birds in peak condition.
You've worked with the club's previous fitness trainer (Zac van Heerden) on a part-time basis before. How has it been to be with the team full-time? "It's been an awesome experience. It was handy coming in under Zac, it helped to get used to the players and to get used to the way things work. With him moving on, it's been a great experience and I've enjoyed it thoroughly. It's been a real eye opener, but a good one.
How have the Swallows players performed when it comes to pushing to the next level? "I've worked with a few different squads and at times you end up with the more experienced players starting to take it easier as they start winding down. But here you have your MacBeth's (Sibaya) and your Bhele's (Nomvethe) that push harder than anyone else. Lefa (Tsutsulupa) is always there to encourage a bit more effort from the guys. Where your experienced players set a precedent like that, the younger guys start following, so it's a very good squad to work with as work ethic has never been a problem here."
Swallows has a very dynamic coaching staff. How has it been working with technical team? "It's been a massive eye-opener, Zeca (Marques) is someone who gives you a chance and a bit of a look in. At other clubs it's not the same. When I was working with Zac (van Heerden), from day one Zeca included me as part of the squad environment whereas some coaches put you to one side and you feel like an intruder almost. Zeca, Dennis (Lota), Sarah (Marcus), Edgar (da Silva) all welcomed me well. I must say Lefa is very much part of that; from the playing side he comes and greets you right from day one and finds out who you are and includes you in everything that is happening."
How are you adjusting to all the travelling? "Luckily I'm not married but I did have other business interests that were in place, that have had to take a serious step back because of all the travelling. But like I said, I'm very happy to give that up for this experience with a team such as the Dube Birds. It's an honour more than anything else. It took some getting used to, but it's all good now because I'm well into the swing of things."
You were confused for a player, after your registration information was released during the January transfer window. Anything you want the fans to know about Mike da Silva? "I can certainly put the fans' worries to rest, that I won't be playing at any stage! I'm purely here for the fitness side of things. For sure I don't look like a soccer player, but I can assure you that I have the knowledge, and I'll do my best to make sure the boys are well-prepared for all the games so we can get the results that we deserve."