Thela asks for a fighting chance
Posted: 20 June 2018 Time: 08:00
Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni has confirmed Free State Stars are currently negotiating for his services on a permanent deal, while he says another club are also in the picture.
Ngobeni, who spent the second half of the 2017/18 season on loan at Nedbank Cup champions Stars, says he will only be happy to stay at Sundowns if he was to be afforded an opportunity to fight for the number one position.
Downs coach Pitso Mosimane currently favours Ugandan star Denis Onyango in goal, with fellow international keepers Kennedy Mweene and Razak Brimah also at his disposal.
"Yes, I know very well that they are busy trying to negotiate and there are those challenges which I think are internal, between the Sundowns management and them," Ngobeni says.
"So I don't know much in terms of information at this stage on how far are they. And the last time I checked there was another team that was also trying to ... but we'll obviously know when I officially return to work if there's something that might come up.
"Unfortunately at this point in time I cannot mention the third team, but as for me I just want to play. I'm open to any team that will give me game-time. So between all these teams that are showing interest and all that ... I'm just open to game-time, that's what I want and I won't compromise on that.
"Currently Free State Stars are Nedbank Cup champions, qualified for top eight, they will be playing CAF. So in my decision I won't settle for a team that is below Free State Stars. So next season I need to be in a team that will also be fighting for all those things, if it's not Free State Stars.
"I think the situation is a very tricky one because my contract with Sundowns is only left with the upcoming season. So the only thing that can possibly happen is to get a permanent move.
"I mean realistically looking at my situation at Sundowns, maybe there's challenges but personally I feel I can always fight for a position. I can't just write myself out and answer and no I can't. But if I was to be at Sundowns I will fight for number one you know. But that one doesn't depend on me. So I would say if I stay at Sundowns, I have to fight for number one. I don't want to be second choice to anyone. I want to play. I just want to be given a chance to play.
"I'm not saying put me only in number one position, but I just want to be given an opportunity to express myself as a goalkeeper because that's the only way I can grow. Free State Stars gave me that opportunity, I went there ... as much as I played in cup games only, it was better than just sitting on the bench or finding myself playing in the MDC. I want to be with the team where I know for sure that if I work hard I will be given a chance to play."
Although the Brazilians returned to training on Monday, Ngobeni says at the moment he is still at home and has not yet joined his teammates at the club.
"From my side we are not open yet. What I know is that our programme starts next week."