Free State Stars’ Thela Ngobeni finally reaches PSL double figures after seven years
Posted: 31 October 2016 Time: 20:12
Free State Stars goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni has a tale to tell of his own long walk to freedom after finally reaching 10 games over the weekend, seven years since he made his PSL debut.
Ngobeni made his PSL debut on 18 August 2009 against SuperSport United while still at Kaizer Chiefs after being handed a chance following an injury to Itumeleng Khune.
Unfortunately he then also got injured, paving the way for Arthur Bartman totake over with the veteran going on to have a superb season which saw him finish off as Player of the Season.
That would go on to be the only start that he made at Chiefs until he left upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the 2011/12 season.
In February 2013, the goalkeeping crisis at Mamelodi Sundowns saw him signed by the club as a back-up option, yet Ngobeni’s fortunes didn’t improve at Chloorkop as he has only ever played just two games – both dead rubbers at the end of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons.
His first start was the season ending clash against Maritzburg United (2013/14) by which time The Brazilians had already won the league.
The following season he featured in another league game right at the end of the campaign against University of Pretoria which counted for nothing as Chiefs had already sealed the league title.
At the beginning of this season, he was loaned out to Free State where he has now started all of the club’s last seven games to finally reach double figures: 10 starts in seven years.
Ngobeni is finally banishing his tag as a reserve keeper and showing that he can also do a good job between the posts instead of sitting on the bench.