Sizwe Twala, left, of Moroko Swallows celebrates with Phumelele Bhengu during their 3-1 victory against Royal Eagles in the GladAfrica Championship this past weekend. Photo: BackpagePix
Sizwe Twala, left, of Moroko Swallows celebrates with Phumelele Bhengu during their 3-1 victory against Royal Eagles in the GladAfrica Championship this past weekend. Photo: BackpagePix

Bhengu happy to help Swallows soar

By minenhle mkhize Time of article published Mar 3, 2020

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Phumele “Ace” Bhengu rose to prominence in elite football during his time with Moroka Swallows back in 2008 and is now back where it all started for him.

Swallows appeared dead and buried a year ago campaigning in the regional ABC Motsepe League.

But last year saw its rebirth when owners of the club bought the GladAfrica Championship status of Maccabi FC.

The Dube Birds are now second on the table with 40 points after 22 games and trail leaders Ajax Cape Town by just five points.

Bhengu has vowed to inspire Swallows back to the elite league where they belong.

“I’m happy to be back to where it all started for me. I owe Swallows because they launched my career. I wouldn’t be known today if it wasn’t for Swallows.”

It is not only to thank them for giving him a platform that Bhengu wants, but to catapult Swallows back to the Premiership.

“The only cup I have won with Swallows was the Nedbank Cup back in 2009 when we beat Pretoria University in the final. Apart from that, I feel I didn’t do enough for Swallows. That’s why it is my desire to help this team gain promotion to the elite league,” Bhengu said this past weekend at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

Swallows beat Royal Eagles 3-1 and put more pressure on the Urban Warriors at the summit of the table.

“Swallows are a big team. I’m happy that the chairman decided to revive this brand. Swallows needs to be alongside the likes of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. It is our challenge to make sure that we fulfill that goal. I left too soon at Swallows. Where I was previously playing football (Tshakhuma), it was more like a jail. I thank God for bailing me out. I’m now at a team that has done so many things for me in life. I’m happy that I’ll be a part of the squad that will take Swallows to the PSL. Everyone can see where we are heading to. Nothing can stop us now, “ he added.

Bhengu grew up at Swallows and was promoted in 2008. He spent three years at the Birds before Gordon Igesund deemed him surplus to requirements. Bhengu was once touted as the next Benni McCarthy.

“We want to get automatic promotion. What is nice is that we still have to play Ajax.

“We have to beat them for ourselves and cut their lead to two points and hopefully, they’ll also slip in other matches. There’s still eight games to go. We have to make sure that we win all our games. We don’t want to be in the play-offs. We want automatic promotion. I’ve been to the play-offs many times, I don’t want to play them anymore.” Bhengu articulated.

Swallows host Tuks in their next league game on Sunday.

@minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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