Shonga inspired by Mbesuma, Chansa
Posted: 26 October 2017 Time: 13:45
Just a few years ago, Orlando Pirates striker Justin Shonga was watching his compatriots Collins Mbesuma and Isaac Chansa in the Bucs kit and now he’s delighted to be following in their footsteps.
Shonga joined the Buccaneers in September as the Soweto giants beat Mamelodi Sundowns to the Zambian.
He did not have a pre-season with the rest of the squad, so he has been playing catch up and coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has given him opportunities as a substitute on two occasions in recent matches.
He’s yet to open his account for the team, but going forward he’d love to score regularly to help Pirates win silverware. One of Pirates’ best ever strikers, the late Dennis Lota, was also from Zambia and the supporters would no doubt love for Shonga to rattle the back of the net as often as the man who was nicknamed 'Chisa Mpama' did.
Micho has been using Thamsanqa Gabuza upfront, while also giving opportunities to Thabiso Kutumela and young Lyle Foster. Shonga has to compete with these players to get more time on the pitch.
"Joining Pirates is a good thing. I used to watch Pirates some time back when they had players like Mbesuma, Chansa," Shonga tells KickOff.com.
"I am happy to join them because it’s every player's dream to play for a big club. I am having a good time and the reception was okay. They received me well and I have been mingling well with the guys.
"I want to achieve a lot of things. I want to score goals for the club and help the club win cups. We have to push hard for us to get that because it won’t just come easy. When you join a new club, you need to work hard to find a position to be playing."
Shonga will be hoping to get another opportunity to impress when Pirates take on Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout last 16 at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.
Pirates last won a knockout competition in 2014 - the Nedbank Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium - so they will go into this one desperate to end the drought and to finish the year on a high.