Khumalo has eyes on fifth Premiership title
DURBAN – Veteran defender, Bongani Khumalo, has strolled to victory everywhere he has been in South Africa and his next mission is to capture his fifth league crown with SuperSport United where it all started for him.
The 33-year-old centre-back boasts four Absa Premiership triumphs under his belt in his football career.
Matsatsantsa A Pitori still have an outside chance of winning the league this season. They are six points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, but have played two games more.
“I’ve put that in pencil to be honest. Before I retire, I need to give it one more push, just to make it a nice number. It is something that I have at the back of my mind. I’ve got a year left with SuperSport, I have a year to get that right. Obviously, this season we are where we are but we will try and finish as high as we can.
After this season, I have a year left on my contact. I have to push again. I’ll push for that with all that I have, just to try to help the team as best as I can. Whether my role is playing every game, play now and then or whatever, it is about pushing whoever is there to get to that fifth one. That’s what is important,” Khumalo said.
His exploits during the 2010 Fifa World Cup landed him a big move to English Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur. Although he didn’t play any competitive games at White Hart Lane, he played on loan for a number of clubs including Reading, Preston North End, Doncaster Rovers and Colchester United (all in England). The lanky defender also had a stint with PAOK in Greece.
“I’ve very blessed. A friend of mine made me realise this. I think this is my eighth season in the PSL and I’ve won seven trophies. I’ve won four league titles, a Telkom Knockout and two MTN8 titles. I’ve been very blessed to have been around the winning teams and been able to carry my winning mentality within those teams. I’m proud to say, I haven’t played for a club in South Africa and not won anything there. That’s just a fact and it is something that I’ve worked for since I was a kid. But like I said, every day is new in football. Every game is new,” he added.
Khumalo lifted his first three league triumphs in his stint with SuperSport before he moved overseas in 2010.
“But you can’t spend too much time looking back. When I was in Greece, I won the play-offs with PAOK. We finished second and qualified for the play-offs and we went there and won which meant the following year the team would have qualified for Uefa Champions League or Europa League. That’s great. At least I can say I’ve made a mark everywhere I’ve been. Going forward one is carrying the same winning spirit and mentality. I’m always hungry to win,” Khumalo elaborated.
He also enjoyed success with Bidvest Wits where he won three titles (league, MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout) between 2016 and 2018. This season he has already helped SuperSport to an MTN8 crown.
“We all love the game but let’s be honest, there’s a coach who used to tell me in the UK that you know what, we love the game, training and all that but what we really love is winning.
“Whether you are a fan, footballer or a coach, what we really love about the game is winning. For me, that hasn’t changed. This game is all about winning and trying to improve.
“There’s always room to improve no matter what you’ve done. No matter where you are, you can always do better,” the former Bafana captain explained.@Minenhlecr7