Collins Mbesuma: Why I failed when I moved to Portsmouth
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The striker feels being plunged into a season without the proper preparations impacted his chances of success at Fratton Park.
And the man who arrived with big hopes in 2005 but failed to make the grade, has tackled the subject of appearing to be overweight.
Mbesuma was touted as the new Yakubu when signing from South African side Kaiser Chiefs, but the Zambian never started a game and made just four sub appearances before being farmed out to Portuguese side Maritimo and eventually leaving two years later.
Mbesuma told Kick-off.com: ‘I went just straight. I think everything happened so fast you know because like I was in Zambia you know waiting for a work permit.
‘It took long because there were like FIFA laws, Zambia must be on this and that for Mbesuma to get a Visa to go straight. I waited for long in Zambia and I was training alone you know, and that time the league there is on you see.
‘So, from Zambia I go there straight. Now I have to play catch-up, I have to train with the first team, I also trained with the reserve team. I play a few minutes in the main team, and I played with the reserve team. You know it was just everything catch-up, everything happened so fast.
‘And at that particular time the team was not doing well. So they had to bring experience you know, and you know foreigners are limited. So I had to go on loan in Portugal.
‘But I don't regret it, I enjoyed my time and I went to Portugal; I was top scorer of the team, I was scoring goals in Portugal. I was just unlucky. It was a blessing you know from where I came from to go that far.’
Mbesuma’s weight became an area of focus when arriving at Pompey, but the man who still plays in South Africa for University of Pretoria believes he’s maintained decent shape in his career.
He added: ‘No, I think I knew my strength you know. Like I trained my strength properly. Like even now in the NFD (South African second division) someone can say, “Wow! Hey you can still run.” I say I know because I'm a professional so I know my strength. I said okay in this one, aah, no one will challenge me, this one I must be the best you know, I focused on that.
‘I focus, I train you know, it's all about training. Train, train, train. What you are good at, train more so you can be perfect you know. The mind also, you can train it as a football player.
‘Even I was talking to Kalusha (Bwalya), because I like to get advice. I asked him. “Why are you so good on free-kicks?” So he told me, “No since my young age I saw a senior player score a free-kick. So from my young days I started doing it. So it became perfect you know.” I said okay that is why. The more you do it, the more it becomes easy you know.’
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