My Dream Team

Kick Off - - INSIDE -

For­mer Or­lando Pi­rates mid­fielder Du­misa Ngobe picks his best-ever XI from past team­mates.

Du­misa Ngobe’s father, Thomas, was a pro­lific striker dur­ing his play­ing days but the younger Ngobe made his name as util­ity mid­fielder at Wit­bank Aces, Kaizer Chiefs, Or­lando Pi­rates, and na­tional team. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the ma­jor­ity of the best play­ers he has ever played with come from the Pi­rates team that dom­i­nated South African foot­ball in the mid-1990s.

1 Goal­keeper Wil­liams Ok­para

‘Billy’ took his goal­keep­ing very se­ri­ous and it was not easy to score against him. He played a key role when we won the CAF Cham­pi­ons Cup and a few other tro­phies dur­ing that pe­riod. There is no other bet­ter goal­keeper that I played with other than Ok­para.

2 Right-back Sizwe Mo­taung

I played with Sizwe at Or­lando Pi­rates and na­tional team. I’ve never seen a guy who makes pow­er­ful runs up and down the field like him. He is no doubt the best right-back I’ve ever seen dur­ing my ca­reer. He kept to him­self and only spoke when nec­es­sary.

3 Left-back David Ny­athi

We played to­gether in the na­tional team and at Pi­rates. I could read what he wanted to do with­out him even say­ing it like when he over­lap­plped. He was a very in­tel­li­gennt and some­one who achieved a great deal of suc­cess dur­ing his ca­reer.

4 Cen­tre-back Gavin Lane

I got along well with ‘Sta­bil­ity’. A no-nonsense de­fender and some­one who was truly com­mit­ted to the team. Gavin worked his socks off dur­ing matches and off the pitch he was the nicest guy to be around.

5 Cen­tre-back Mark Fish

My Pi­rates and na­tional team­mate. An­other clever player who was al­ways pre­pared to run up the field to cre­ate or score goals. His at­tack­ing game was as good as his abil­ity to de­fend and I’m not sur­prised that his ca­reer went far.

6 Cen­tral Mid­field John Moeti

‘Dungi’ was my part­ner – he took re­spon­si­bil­ity of how we pla ayed and con­trolle ed the paace of a matc ch. Hee would say to o mee: ‘ don’t wor­ryy

about de­fend­ing, just go for­ward and help strik­ers cre­ate goals’. He was a good com­mu­ni­ca­tor and made ev­ery­one feel at ease. Our com­mu­ni­ca­tion was the best and we shared a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity to­gether.

7 Right-wing Joseph Ngake

Joseph was one of the younger guys when he joined the team. I think his best game was against Kaizer Chiefs dur­ing the 1996 Bob Save semi­fi­nals – he was out­stand­ing. Joseph was a well-man­nered and al­ways lis­tened to se­nior play­ers. He wanted balls passed in chan­nels so that he could make runs. 8 Cen­tral Mid­fielder Du­misa Ngobe

I played most matches just ahead of Dungi. Joe Frick­le­ton coached my father and he al­ways wanted me to play as a striker, but I was bet­ter in mid­field. I played all po­si­tions. When we played a three-men in mid­field with Dungi and the late Clif­ford Moleko – I played an ad­vance role just be­hind the main striker. But when Clif­ford wasn’t there, I used to drop deep to col­lect the ball in mid­field.

9 For­ward Jerry Sikhosana

He was a top striker, give him m the ball, all he wanted was to scorescore. He didn’t care about any­thing else on the field – he wanted to score goals be­cause that’s all that mat­tered to him. The hat-trick he scored against Chiefs is still stand­ing as a record, no player has ever scored three goals in the Soweto Derby since then.

10 For­ward Sibu­siso Zuma

Rhee was one of the play­ers who could make things hap­pen. He joined Pi­rates just be­fore I left for over­seas and we were also to­gether at the na­tional team at some point. When we played Jomo Cos­mos and scored four against them, I was play­ing with Rhee and Phum­lani Mkhize – that was a top game.

11 Left-wing Helman Mkhalele

Helman en­joyed run­ning at de­fend­ers. He was right-footed and used to cut in­side in­stead of run­ning down the wing like most wingers. He was quiet and was more con­cerned about do­ing his job. He never yelled at any­one and played a lot of matches with­out moaning. This thing called fa­tigue didn’t ex­ist. We would gog to Africa, you would see Helman run­ningr at de­fend­ers and we would travel to South Korea and Helman would still be do­ing his thing.

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