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Throwback Thursday: Samuel 'Sea' Ngobeni

Posted: 24 May 2018 Time: 14:00

Back in 2004 when entertaining fans was encouraged and not derided as showboating, Samuel Ngobeni won the Absa Cup Flair Of The Moment award after his skills left two opponents in a heap.

It made his coach Gavin Hunt, who has little time for that kind of football, end up saying: "That is very good. But next time you [do that] you are going to come and sit here next to me."

That year 'Sea' Ngobeni helped Moroka Swallows break a 13-year trophy drought by winning the Absa Cup.

"I think I retired in 2008 just before the 2010 World Cup. I think I was 31," Ngobeni tells KickOff.com.

"I was playing for Black Leopards, I played only one season and quit. I also played for teams like Rabali Blackpool, Dynamos before I went to Cosmos, though I didn't kick a ball there bagcina ngokungi - register. From Cosmos I went to NFD at Sporting, then I went to Swallows. Then from Swallows it was Black Leopards which is where I decided it was time to go find work because this football thing was no longer working for me.

"But I enjoyed my football at Swallows I don't wanna lie. To be honest I was happy at Swallows when the late [David Chabeli] was still alive. Eish but when the new white owners took over ... Do you know that Swallows was the only team that didn't put players on transfer? Swallows only started doing that when the white owners took over. With 'Bra Pine' if a coach would say he no longer wants a certain player in his team ... that old man would say to the coach: 'It's fine if you don't want him but don't fire him, I'm the one who is paying him so let him continue training with the team'. That is why Swallows was one of the best teams. That's why in our era Swallows had lots of players from Soweto. That old man knew his story.

"Swallows was great to me, but the most I earned as a football player was R12 000 at Black Leopards in 2008 I think. As someone who was not living a wild life that money satisfied me. I ended up buying a house even though I lost it at the end, but I knew how to save. Even now where I'm working ... I have just bought myself a van that is going to help me with my errands. But I'm still fixing it at the moment. It will be good for the road very soon, ngiyithole imile le van [the van was not moving when I found it] when I bought it, so I'm still trying to fix it.

"These days my man we are no longer those young boys we were, every cent counts now. It's not like before where we just blew a R200 just like that. These days a R200 can last me a week because I have got responsibilities. We no longer get a bonus every week. Where I am working now I only see a bonus in December.

"At my current job I'm doing office admin and field work for Gcwensa Attorneys. I have been here for seven years now. I'm enjoying my job, it's better than football. I knew nothing about the job when I arrived here but my boss taught me everything and I'm one of the best now here. I do everything from the office to the street. We deal with title deeds, my job is to verify the clients. I do house visits, check all necessary documents before a client can consult with our advocate."

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Article by: Sipho Mlotha
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