Ex-Swallows midfielder calls time

The 35-year-old served as a player-assistant coach under Joel Masutha last season at Leopards, who gained promotion to the Absa Premiership as play-offs winner following a runners-up finish behind Highlands Park in the National First Division.

The ex-Winners Park and Platinum Stars man, who was part of the Swallows side that won the Nedbank Cup in 2009, initially joined Lidoda Duvha in 2014 from the now-defunct Blackburn Rovers.

"Now I'm done, I have hanged up my boots. I just have to focus on a career. It is the same career but on another level. As an individual, you have to grow and also as a man. This is fine for me," Shivambu said.

"At first it came from me [to retire]. At the same time I hesitated a bit thinking that I'm going to be still playing because now I'll be 36, and maybe I thought at 37 I'll hang up my boots. But right now I have decided that I'm done."

Shivambu feels comfortable working with Masutha and expects to have a similarly positive relationship with the club's new technical director Stefano Cusin and five player signings.

"I can say it's going to be easy because I have been working with coach Joel for the past six months. Now with the new 'TD' I think it's going to be much easier.

"The players, they're my boys. I have been with them for five years now and I know the players inside out. Even the new guys, I just hope that they're going to fit in. They must treat this team like it's their home."

He added: "Coaching, I don't want to lie but when I started playing football I never thought of being a coach one day because I've been to tertiary levels where I completed my certificate. I thought after football I'll work somewhere but this is another step for me and I have to take it."