In light of former Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie making a comeback with Mamelodi Sundowns, KickOff.com looks at five other PSL stars who walked a similar road.
Chabangu has had his fair share of issues over the years, which has seen him go without a job on several occasions over the years, but perhaps his most prominent was his first – when he was released from Mamelodi Sundowns in August 2010. The then-25-year-old midfielder went five months without a club before being handed a lifeline by Moroka Swallows, who was at the time being coached by Gordon Igesund. ‘All-you-need-is-love’ enjoyed a solid come-back as he spent four seasons with The Dube Birds, while also returning to the Bafana Bafana setup, where Igesund had taken over from Pitso Mosimane. But after seeing out his contract at Swallows in 2015, Chabangu was back to square one as he went from club to club without being able to rediscover himself. At the age of 34, he is now with ABC Motsepe League side Baberwa FC.
Mahlangu, formerly known as Pule, was one of the most promising players in the early 2000’s at Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana and earned himself a move to Austria. But after a couple of spells abroad, ‘Shuffle’ returned to South Africa to find that he was no longer sought after and spent several months out in the wilderness, before joining then-NFD side FC Cape Town. After one season, the dribbling wizard was handed an opportunity to return to the top-flight with SuperSport United, however that lasted just a few months as he managed just three appearances before retiring.
A more recent returnee is former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mzikayise Mashaba, who was released from The Brazilians in October 2017 before returning nearly two years later to sign for Chippa United at the start of this season. The 30-year-old left-back only just made his first competitive appearance against Polokwane City last week, and it remains to be seen how he will fare over the course of his first season back in action.
Another player still trying to make his way back from an extended absence from professional football is Khanye, who recently joined ABC Motsepe League side Ngwaabe City Motors. Now 34-year-old, the former Kaizer Chiefs star has served a massive six-year spell off the radar, after initially retiring upon leaving eSwatini outfit Malanti Chiefs in 2013. Whether he will rise back to professional ranks, only time will tell.
Ntshumayelo suffered a huge blow at the age of 26, when he was handed a four-year ban after testing positive for the use of cocaine, which he explained was a one-time experiment. ‘Bibo’ was subsequently released by Orlando Pirates in August 2016, but a successful appeal of his drug ban in August 2018 saw his sentence reduced to two-years. The 29-year-old was then afforded a chance to work his way back by Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt, but ultimately signed his first professional contract after two-and-a-half years with Baroka. There, he managed just one appearance before being released in June. He is now training with his boyhood club SuperSport United in the hopes of another opportunity to make a full comeback.
Have your say: How will Tokelo Rantie fare after being out of action for two years?