Siphiwe Tshabalala grateful for Kaizer Chiefs support
Posted: 10 January 2017 Time: 19:51
Kaizer Chiefs stalwart Siphiwe Tshabalala feels indebted to the club for supporting him when a knee injury nearly derailed his career at Naturena.
Tshabalala has enjoyed much success since joining Chiefs from Free State Stars a decade ago, winning two league championships, the Nedbank Cup, two MTN8 Cups and three Telkom Knockout titles.
However, 'Shabba' has revealed how his dream of donning the gold and black could have ended after failing a medical on his arrival at the Soweto giants.
“When they broke the news that I had a [left] knee problem, I thought that was the end of my dream,” Tshabalala told his club's website.
“I signed the contract and went for medical tests. It was then when I thought things could have gone pear shape. I was convinced that the news of the knee problem would mean that Chiefs was going to terminate the contract.
“I took the news bravely though. I was happily surprised to receive the support from Kaizer Chiefs. Football manager Bobby Motaung encouraged me to focus on the recovery, which I did.”
The 32-year-old, capped 88 times for Bafana Bafana, spent six months on the sidelines before making his Glamour Boys debut under Muhsin Ertugral against Bidvest Wits on 31 August 2007. He has since clocked up 315 appearances for the club, netting 40 goals.
“I made my debut against Wits under the mentorship of coach Muhsin Ertugral,” Shabba reflected. “Remarkably, under Muhsin I missed only one game in two seasons and that was because of suspension.”
Tshabalala went on to thank various people that have helped him in his career.
“I wish to thank the Almighty for the opportunity to wear Kaizer Chiefs colours for such a long time. Mostly, I would like to thank my parents. I wish to thank the chairman, Mr Motaung, for his leadership and for affording me this opportunity. I wish to thank the entire management and staff for their support.”
He continued: “It will be a mistake if I don’t thank the past and current teammates for their collegiality and support through this period. A special word of gratitude goes to Bobby Motaung for his patience during my injury. I also want to extend words of gratitude to all the coaches during this time, with special words of appreciation to Muhsin Ertugral for giving me my debut.
“Of course, I cannot forget the supporters. The Amakhosi supporters and South Africans have shown me love and I wish to make them all aware that their support has meant everything to me. Thank you.”