Aubrey Ngoma defends Orlando Pirates failure as he looks to someday return to 'the highest level'
Posted: 20 July 2017 Time: 14:17
Cape Town City midfielder Aubrey Ngoma has admitted his time on the big stage came to soon, as he reflects on how much he has grown since leaving Orlando Pirates.
Ngoma enjoyed a breakthrough season with the PSL rookies in the 2016/17 campaign as he went on to claim the Absa Premiership Midfielder of the Season as well as the Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament awards.
The 27-year-old winger has been a subject of transfer speculation since receiving plaudits from Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, who was subsequently slammed by City boss John Comitis.
While Ngoma was undoubtedly a standout performer for the Citizens last season – tallying seven goals and 16 assists in 33 starts – question marks have been raised as to whether he could cope at a 'big' club after his failed stint with Orlando Pirates.
The former AmaTuks attacker admits he had a tough time at the Buccaneers but insists he has matured since leaving the Mayfair-based outfit in 2015, and believes the timing of his arrival made it difficult for him to grab the opportunity.
"To be honest, I think maybe the timing of the move [from University of Pretoria to Pirates] wasn't right for me," admits Ngoma.
"I could say it goes with maturity as well, [because], when you play for a team like Orlando Pirates, the supporters demand a lot from you.
"At the time there were players that had been there and won trophies before, like Daine Klate, who I had been sharing the [left-wing] position with, and, not to say that it was easy but, it was much easier for him [to handle the situation] than for me.
"I had to learn from that situation and take it in my stride, and hope that it would build me as a player, as well as my character, which I think it did."
Though Ngoma says he is happy at his current club, the thought of one day playing at a higher level is still one that appeals to him as he eyes further improvement in his game once he recovers from his knee injury.
"It's always been a dream for me to play at the highest level. I took that as a minor setback when things weren't going my way at Pirates," he adds.
"I had to bounce back and show character that I'm not the player they thought I was, I'm a much better player than they thought I was.
"I had to work hard. I sustained two injuries while I was on loan from Pirates and when I moved permanently to Aces. I had to overcome those setbacks and still manage to perform at the level I believe I can.
"I think last season I was almost close to where I believe I should be. Hopefully I come back strong from this injury and improve my stats and the type of player I am."