Sowetan

Injury no big thing for hobbling Aubrey Ngoma

City kingpin out for three months

- By Nkareng Matshe

The sight of Aubrey Ngoma hobbling on to the stage to collect his awards at the PSL gala dinner this week drew howls of sympathy from the audience.

But the Cape Town City midfielder is far from bothered about his situation.

“It’s football. Injuries are part of football,” he said at the conclusion of the event in Sandton on Monday, having bagged two major awards as the Absa Premiershi­p midfielder of the year and Telkom Knockout player of the tournament.

It was just reward for Ngoma’s great past season, where he was kingpin for City as they finished third and clinched the trophy. His performanc­es were also duly rewarded with an inevitable call up to the Bafana Bafana squad, and it was there where he suffered a knee injury that led him to need the help of crutches as he clambered onto the stage.

As the sympatheti­c audience wondered whether he would be back soon to deliver his magic, Ngoma promised he would not be out for too long.

“I should be back to full fitness in three months’ time. I’m now in the early stages of my rehabilita­tion, and that’s nothing. There are players who’ve been injured for an entire season and they come back to play. Three months should not be a big thing for me. Unfortunat­ely, injuries are part of the game and you can’t predict when they will strike,” he said.

Ngoma beat the excellent Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana and Thabang Monare of Bidvest Wits to the midfielder of the season award, and attributed his success to taking more responsibi­lity as a creative force at City.

“The then coach [Eric Tinkler] told me I had to play a big role as a senior player, and that’s exactly what I did. I had to guide some of our younger players and show them how it’s done. I’m glad my contributi­on has been recognised with these two awards.”

City, meanwhile, confirmed the signing of veteran Teko Modise on a two-year deal yesterday. The former Sundowns man should slot into Ngoma’s creative role while he recovers.

‘‘ There are players who’ve been injured for an entire season

 ?? / MUZI NTOMBELA/ BACKPAGEPI­X ?? Aubrey Ngoma of Cape Town City at the PSL Awards.
/ MUZI NTOMBELA/ BACKPAGEPI­X Aubrey Ngoma of Cape Town City at the PSL Awards.
 ?? / LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES ?? Ngoma gets the Telkom KO player of the tournament award from Cambridge Mokanyane.
/ LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES Ngoma gets the Telkom KO player of the tournament award from Cambridge Mokanyane.

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