My Dream Team
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.