Shabba: ‘It isn’t about me’

The Witness - - SPORT & RACING -

SOUTH AFRICAN mid­fielder Siphiwe Tshabalala (pic­tured) has re­flected on his Erzu­rum­spor de­but in Turkey and re­fuses to get car­ried away by the warm em­brace from the sup­port­ers.

Tshabalala man­aged a dream move to Europe from Kaizer Chiefs last month, and has en­joyed a re­mark­able re­cep­tion since his ar­rival at Erzu­rum­spor.

The 33-year-old made his first of­fi­cial ap­pear­ance for the club ear­lier this month, when he came on as an 81st minute sub­sti­tute in the Turk­ish Su­per Lig. The Bafana Bafana stal­wart has since ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over his maiden run-out, al­though ad­mits it was bit­ter-sweet given the team’s 1-0 de­feat at home to Basak­se­hir.

“I was very happy to play my first game for the club, but I was dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult,” Tshabalala told Turk­ish sports pub­li­ca­tion Sporx.

“The re­cep­tion from the crowd was very hum­bling and wel­com­ing, and I ap­pre­ci­ate that. I was ex­pect­ing a huge crowd be­cause I’ve been fol­low­ing the club on so­cial me­dia, so I was ex­cited to see a full sta­dium.”

“Shabba” could make his sec­ond ap­pear­ance when do­mes­tic ac­tion re­sumes this week­end, with Erzu­rum­spor set to visit Si­vass­por to­mor­row evening.

Though the club have yet to pick up a league vic­tory this sea­son — much like his for­mer em­ploy­ers in the Absa Premier­ship — the vet­eran at­tacker is buoyed by their prepa­ra­tions for the up­com­ing tie and vows that they will im­prove their log po­si­tion.

“So far so good in terms of our prepa­ra­tions, ev­ery­one’s been work­ing very hard. We know the ex­pec­ta­tions, we know we’re not in a good po­si­tion on the log cur­rently,” he added.

“How­ever, that’s not the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion. We will keep fight­ing and we’ll do our­selves and our sup­port­ers proud.”

Hav­ing risen to promi­nence on the global stage fol­low­ing his 2010 Fifa World Cup open­ing goal on home soil, Tshabalala has re­mained grounded with re­gards to fans’ ex­pec­ta­tions of him.

“Most sup­port­ers have al­ready given me a nick­name – they call me ‘Dada Tshabalala’. With re­gards to the ex­pec­ta­tions, I ap­pre­ci­ate the love from the sup­port­ers and I’ll al­ways do my best, but it’s not about me, the team comes first,” he con­cluded. — Kick­Off.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.