Tsepo Masilela hopes there is still for him at Kaizer Cheifs. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Is there still room for Tsepo Masilela at Kaizer Chiefs?

“I hope so,” says the former Bafana Bafana left-back who’s had to watch Amakhosi struggle to stay in the Absa Premiership championship race this season because of an ankle injury.

Masilela, 32, also disclosed that negotiations for his contract, which expires at the end of this campaign, are ongoing  although they are out of his hands.

He will find it tough trying to win his place back in the Chiefs team that, despite falling off the pace recently in the title chase, continues to enjoy the best defensive record along with Maritzburg United, with Philani Zulu the preferred choice at left-back, playing more as a left wingback in coach Steve Komphela’s much-talked about formation.

“I think I still have a couple of years in me,” Masilela insists.

“Obviously we will see how it goes after this injury and I am back on my feet.

“You can’t expect to start playing again when you have been out for so long. It takes time. You have to check.

“It goes with the passion  and mine is still there (to play), and I still want to win trophies. So as long as the passion is there the body can carry on.”

Masilela laughs when asked if those passionate years will be at Chiefs.

“It’s football,” he chuckles and then adds: “You can’t really predict the future or plan it because if it was only up to me, then yes, I would be staying at Chiefs. But you know how it goes  two parties, negotiating, not really up to me.”

The former Maccabi Haifa (Israel) and Getafe (Spain) defender is well aware that contract talks when he hasn’t seen that much game time will mean his agent will have to up his game to get him an extended stay at Naturena.

“My being out of action for so long might make things difficult, yes,” Masilela acknowledges.

“But I am optimistic. At the end of the day this is football. I haven’t had a perfect career, but to be honest I am grateful and happy with what I have achieved and in the tournaments I have played in.

“I am calm about this situation and we will see how it goes.”

And Masilela knows all about winning, and admits that it is so strange to see the club going through such an awful drought as far as silverware is concerned, having managed to clinch two league titles in his first three years with the Amakhosi.

“I am not worried about having to fight for my place,” he says.

“What worries me is that we haven’t won a trophy in two seasons and we are yet to win anything in this season as well.

“Maybe I am at an age where I put the team first,” he explains.

“If Zulu does well and we win trophies, we are all happy and the fans are happy. I can say it’s a bit weird to taste the wining feeling and then suddenly it’s gone. You want it over and over again.

“But these things happen in football  even to the best. We just have to soldier on.”

Sunday Independent

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