The Herald (South Africa)

Chilli Boys newcomer ‘works for success’

- Sihle Ndebele

HAVING already bagged three man-of-the-match awards in his first four league games in Chippa United colours since joining the club from Jomo Cosmos in December, midfielder Linda “Figo” Mntambo is proving to be one of the league’s best January signings.

Despite arriving in the Premiershi­p midway through, Mntambo has flourished, scoring three goals in his five matches for Chippa.

He feels his rather smooth transition from the second tier to the top flight is largely motivated by his dedication to his game.

“I am not surprised that I am doing well for Chippa. We can talk about a lot of factors influencin­g my great performanc­es but dedication is the main reason I am flourishin­g.

“I work hard and put in extra hours. I do not only train with the team but I also work alone to make sure I stand out,” Mntambo said.

“I think the Absa Premiershi­p is not as tough as the NFD. In the NFD you play against players you do not know, which makes it difficult to prepare.

“Here it is easy because you come up against people you know, that’s the difference.”

After representi­ng Bafana Bafana in the African Nations Championsh­ip qualifiers last year, Mntambo hopes keeping up his current form would see him return to the national team.

“I always pray that I get back there [to Bafana]. It’s always a pleasure to represent my country. I am hopeful that if I can remain as consistent as I am now I will get another chance to play for Bafana,” the 28-year-old versatile player said.

Before leaving Cosmos, Mntambo had already netted five times in the NFD and Ezenkosi have been struggling ever since his exit alongside striker Mxolisi Macuphu, who also joined Chippa.

Seventh-placed Chippa next face Baroka at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

Mntambo hopes they will build on their Nedbank Cup first round 2-0 win over Phiva Young Stars last week.

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