Siphelele prom­ises to de­liver

Nt­shangase in­tent on pro­vid­ing the miss­ing in­gre­di­ent in Chiefs’ play, cham­pagne passes

Pretoria News - - SPORT -

MAZOLA MOLEFE

SIPHELELE Nt­shangase has promised to de­liver a “cham­pagne pass” – one of his many traits as an at­tack­ing mid­fielder – when he fi­nally makes his Kaizer Chiefs de­but against Polokwane City to­mor­row night.

Sounds a tad ar­ro­gant, but that is ac­tu­ally what Amakhosi have lacked in the two and a half years that there has been no tro­phy.

The mid­dle of the park has lacked that killer pass, a link for the strik­ers to get the job done, al­though even coach Steve Kom­phela ad­mit­ted this week that Chiefs also ac­quired the ser­vices of striker Leonardo Cas­tro be­cause they don’t have a tar­get man who stays in the box.

Who­ever he has it his dis­posal – Bernard Parker, Gus­tavo Paez and young Ryan Moon – drifts to the wings, the coach ar­gued.

“I’ve been given clear in­struc­tions by the coach about my role,” Nt­shangase, who signed for Chiefs from Baroka FC last week, said.

“It’s not easy play­ing for Chiefs, es­pe­cially if they are not win­ning tro­phies.

“I hon­estly think what has been miss­ing in the last two sea­sons is the killer pass, the cham­pagne pass.

“I feel I am 80 per­cent fit be­cause I haven’t played a lot since re­cov­er­ing from my in­jury.”

That’s not the only rea­son Nt­shangase lacks match fit­ness.

The whole truth is that he didn’t want to be a Baroka player any­more.

“I made it clear as far back as 2015 that I wanted to play for Chiefs,” he re­vealed, but his dream was put on hold by Black Leop­ards chair­man David Thi­diela, who sold him to Baroka for R2-mil­lion at the start of the sea­son even though he’d have more than dou­bled the price when Amakhosi showed in­ter­est in the player.

Does the fact that he is now play­ing for a team he’d pub­licly de­clared his love for three years ago put him un­der im­me­di­ate pres­sure? “Not at all,” said Nt­shangase. “I have never been in this kind of sit­u­a­tion, where I have so much com­pe­ti­tion. “I now have to work ex­tremely hard and that is what any player wants in their ca­reer.

“Leop­ards are strug­gling right now be­cause they de­pended on me for too long and didn’t have a re­place­ment when they even­tu­ally let me go.

“I am happy here and my fam­ily is happy. “But it’s time to work now that the dream has fi­nally be­come a re­al­ity.”

The move to Na­turena is also a way to re­vive Nt­shangase’s ca­reer see­ing that it has some­what stalled be­cause of in­jury and the fact that he did not cap­i­talise on his Bafana Bafana de­but three years ago.

He lin­gered for too long in the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion with Leop­ards.

“I think ev­ery­thing has it’s own time. And if you ask about my in­jury, it took me a while to re­alise that maybe my life can change as a re­sult,” said Nt­shangase.

“There are a lot of these types of chal­lenges in life. I am hop­ing that I can push my­self to reach those heights again. This is a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge, but I am ready.”

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