“Batman” as Arthur Bartman is affectionately known in football circles was signed as a replacement following injuries to both Itumeleng Khune and Thela Ngobeni. Now though he is no longer a ‘replacement’ but a vital cog in Vladimir Vermezovic team that has won Telkom Knockout and challenging for Nedbank. He spoke to kaizerchiefs.com about what drives him and his plans for the future.
What would you say has improved in your game since joining Chiefs comparing with the other teams you have played for? What are your plans after football?
Simphiwe Monde Hadebe
Arthur Bartman: A lot of credit should go to goalkeeper coach Rainer Dinkelacker. He has played a huge role in my resurgence and that has been the difference between my times here at Kaizer Chiefs and other clubs.
I have already spoken to Rainer about becoming a goalkeeper coach when I retire and he has given me his word to help me where he can. I am now fully focused on playing now.
What makes you to be in such an outstanding form? You are the number one goalkeeper at the moment and I think you should be in the final team for the World Cup…
Arthur Bartman: Thanks for the compliment Paul. I do think though it is not for me to talk about being in the national team but in reality the Bafana Bafana Technical team has been building the side for the past two-three years.
I do not want to comment on whether I should be in the team or not based on the current form.
Can you promise me Kaizer Chiefs is going to win the Nedbank Cup?
Arthur Bartman: We will do our best! We are taking it one game at a time and this weekend we have a tough game against FC Cape Town. We are going to give it our best shot to progress to the next round of the competition.
Everyone is focused and the guys know very well what happened against Tuks (University of Pretoria) last year and no one wants a repeat of that.
I had an opportunity to play with FC Cape Town during my time at the first division. They are a difficult side to deal with but we are ready for them come Sunday.
I have great respect for you; continue doing what you do best and you might be nominated for Goalkeeper of the Season…
Arthur Bartman: The motivation to do better for my team is what always drives me on the field. It is nice to win personal accolades but I put the team first!
I was with you at school at Eastwood Senior Secondary School…
Arthur Bartman: Trevor, I do not remember you my man…that was a long time ago when I was there at Eastwood. This is where it all started for me in Maritzburg. I remember enjoying myself at school playing as a midfielder. I also turned out for a side known as Chelsea and that is where the whole goalkeeping thing came about. The regular goalkeeper did not turn up for the match and I was roped in. I have not looked back since that afternoon.
I want to admit I was one of those who criticised the Management for signing you but you have proved me wrong. What motivated you and the team to turn the tables around this time of the year?
Arthur Bartman: I have always believed that there is no substitute of hard work and now that is paying off. As the team our primary goal was to win the league this season and things did not work out. The two competitions gave us a chance to win silverware in our 40th birthday and we did well winning the Telkom Knockout now we going to give it our best to win the Nedbank Cup.
The only concern I have on you is that sometimes you tend to grab the ball on your second attempt why?
Arthur Bartman: I do not agree with you on that Siyabonga. However, it important for me to point out that the modern balls was not designed for goalkeepers in mind but strikers. These balls are very difficult for goalkeepers to handle…having said that I always work hard in ensuring that I do my best every time I step on the field. I will continue to work hard in improving all aspects of my game.
Any goalkeeper in the country that you think has a bright future ahead and why?
Arthur Bartman: Thela Ngobeni, my teammate here at Chiefs! The boy is very talented, works very hard at training. Thela is also respectful and very humble ingredients you need to be one of the best in the game.
I spoke to him after returning from the U-20 World Cup as he was bit down. I am glad that he has put the disappointment behind because I told him that in football these things happen. He has a lot to look forward to and will definitely develop under the guidance of Rainer (Dinkelacker).
Tell us about yourself. What do you do during your spare time and what is your hope during the World Cup 2010?
Arthur Bartman: I stay together with my wife, Glynor (they have been married since, December 2008) and my daughter, Kaitlin (14). I like taking them out to restaurants around where we leave in the North. Sometimes we will chill at home like movies as I like to be indoors. When we have free time, we drive home to Maritzburg.
I am a down to earth person, approachable but can be very moody at times (laughing). I like music and listen to RnB and House music. I have Jay Holiday currently playing in my car.
My hope for the World Cup is to see at least one of the African countries doing well during the tournament. I also hope to see my teammate, Itumeleng Khune doing well.
He has done well to be where he is at his age and the upcoming tournament might be a big one for him. I wish him and the rest of Bafana Bafana all the best as the county we behind them!
Kaizerchiefs.com together with Arthur Bartman would like to thank you for taking time to send messages of support and questions.