Shabba: I’ll always be there

READ: Solinas defends unchanged line-up

Tshabalala, being one of the longest-serving members at Naturena, is ageing gracefully as he continues to give his all for The Glamour Boys.

Currently in his 11th season since his arrival from Free State Stars, the 33-year-old is no longer the buzzing winger he was when he made a global name for himself with Bafana Bafana eight years back.

With a new coach having just come in, ‘Shabba’ has welcomed a less prominent role within the team, but says he will always be ready to step up should Solinas call on him.

“I think for me, I’m just okay. Mentally, I’m okay and strong. Physically, I’m okay. I take care of myself, you know, and I rest a lot,” said Tshabalala.

“I’ll always be there. Whenever the coach wants me, I’ll play. If he feels, ‘you know what, let me rest you.’ I’ll still respect that.

“But my energy will always be there, even if I don’t play. I’ll still give good energy to the team. I think I played all the games last season and, personally for me, that was also an achievement. I was happy that I was injury free.”

After signing a new deal in January last year that will keep him at Amakhosi until at least June 2020, the veteran attacker insists he remains hungry and happy at the club he has won every piece of domestic silverware with.

“I’m happy at Chiefs hey. I’ve won a lot of trophies, I’ve won a lot of individual awards and I’m still hungry,” he assures.

“I believe I still give my best, and I’m still not familiar with the environment. Whenever I get there, I make sure that I work hard and that I don’t have that ‘I know I’m going to play on Saturday’ attitude.

“I always push myself, and we’ll see how it goes. It’s one game at a time, but so far so good. I’m happy.”