Shonga: Goals are king

The Zambian, who joined Bucs in September last year from Nkwazi FC in his homeland, took his tally to three goals for the season with a brace in a 4-2 win at Chippa United in February.

Shonga admits he is still adjusting to life with the title contenders, who trail log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by four points with five league games remaining.

The 21-year-old told Pirates' website: “Like every new player, the first thing is to understand the game model and your team mates. This is very important. I wasn’t part of the pre-season training so I had to work even harder to catch up to a team that had been together for a long time. I didn’t know our game model and I had to learn a lot of things very quickly. I’m still on that learning curve. So once that understanding gets a little better, you start fighting to get into the team.

“Now that I’m in the team, my ambition is to stay in the team for as long as possible. And in order to do that, I have to keep contributing by scoring goals or creating chances for my team mates to score goals. And in order to do that, I need to know exactly what the coaches want and show that I can apply that correctly on the field. I worked hard to find a position and I maximised on the short game-time I had because I wanted to show how I could assist the team to get positive results.

“As an attacking player, ultimately you will be judged by scoring goals, and I like scoring goals. The scoring started in the Platinum Stars and Chippa United games and I’m hoping that it doesn’t end there. I am surrounded by quality players who can unlock defences and send guys like me clear on goal so it’s important that I keep working to be in the correct space to receive the quality that they work so hard to provide. Sometimes I have to be the one to fight when I’m in possession – dribble the opponent, play the one-two, and release others – whatever it takes to assist the team. So if I don’t score, I need to be able to contribute positively to the team’s objective and that will make me happy.

“Keep playing, keep scoring, keep contributing – that’s the ambition.”

The Sea Robbers will look for a third straight victory when they visit relegation-threatened SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday (19h30).

Get the latest Orlando Pirates news sent to your phone!

For more from Shonga on his ambitions, get the latest edition of KICK OFF Magazine - on sale now! Prefer reading KICK OFF Magazine on screen? DOWNLOAD a digital copy of the magazine here!