JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs reserve team striker Itumeleng Shopane says he is happy to be back at the club following a six-month loan spell with National First Division (NFD) side Cape Town All Stars.
After an impressive 2016/2017 MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) campaign with Chiefs, Shopane made the switch to the Mother City club in search of getting game-time and experience at a higher competitive level.
During his tenure with All Stars, the 20 year-old made 12 appearances, half of which were starts.
While he did not get on the score-sheet, Shopane made six goal assists.
Shopane reckons his loan spell to Cape Town was perfectly timed.
“I think it (the loan deal) came at a right time, the team felt that I needed to get more game time and experience in a tougher league,” Shopane explained.
“I did well, considering the impact I had in the team. So overall it was a good experience for me, and I am glad that now I am back and I can make a difference in the team.”
‘Jomo’, as Shopane is affectionately known, has settled in well since returning to Amakhosi. He scored in his first match of the season against Polokwane City, and got the winner against Free State Stars on Saturday.
He played as a winger instead of his natural No 9 position at All Stars, but he believes there’s not much variation in the two positions, and he’s ready to plough back the experience to the juniors in the team.
“Playing any position in the front-line is okay for me. I just need a position in an official game that will benefit my play, and then I’ll make a name for myself,’’ Shopane said.
“The team is expecting more from me since I was out on loan. I have only played two games since my return to the club, so I can’t say I really gave a 100 percent performance, but I am happy with my contribution so far.
“Having scored in both matches I’ve played so far makes me happy and boosts my confidence for the upcoming games.”
The Taung-born player believes his patience will eventually pay off. In the meantime, he will continue to work hard and focus on his game.
“I would obviously like to make a breakthrough to the senior team, but when the time is right. For now, I just want to work hard and help the team finish in a better position on the log,” said Shopane.
“Even though I still have age on my side, I’ll work hard... my goal at the moment is to grow as a player and as person.
“I’m not in a hurry for anything, but should anything happen, I am ready for it.”