Siphelele Mthembu had to eventually drop down to the Kaizer Chiefs Diski team. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi, BackpagePix

DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs ‘reject’ Siphelele Mthembu wants to bounce back strongly at Free State Stars after failing to make a telling impact during his time with Amakhosi.

The 30-year-old Mthembu, who has also played for Orlando Pirates, made his debut for Ea Lla Koto at the weekend in a 1-0 Absa Premiership defeat against AmaZulu at King Zwelithini Stadium.

Speaking to the media after the game, Mthembu made it clear that he doesn’t consider his time at Chiefs as a failure. 

“I want to redeem myself by scoring goals. I’m hungry to score goals. I don’t believe in failure. In life, there’s always a lesson. I learnt a lot at Chiefs and I’ve grown as a player.

“The challenge is always hunger to play more games, but unfortunately it didn’t happen for me at Chiefs. I believe the coach had a plan with other players, but for me, it is the past now. I’ve moved on and my focus is at Free State Stars,” Mthembu explained.

The striker from Melmoth in KwaZulu-Natal played second fiddle to the likes of Bernard Parker, Gustavo Paez and young Ryan Moon at Naturena, and had to make do with games in the reserve league.

“It was tough playing in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, but I’m not complaining. It was a growing stage for me. I’ve grown as player and as a man,” Mthembu said.

“I can now advise young players who still have the aspiration of playing for big teams. Playing for big teams has made me the person I am, and I can face any challenge now.”

While things were tough at Chiefs, he says he had it harder at Pirates.

Mthembu is now focused on enjoying his game. “Football-wise, I wouldn’t consider my stay at Chiefs as one of the toughest times, I faced big challenges at Pirates,” he said, without elaborating.

“I’m hungry to score goals and start enjoying football again. As I said, I’ve learned and grown as a person through my experiences as a footballer.”

While he did not make the grade at the two Soweto giants, Mthembu’s talent shone through when he played for both Bloemfontein Celtic and Platinum Stars.

It is based on what he did with those two clubs that he has confidence he will play a key role for the Bethlehem outfit this season.

“My target this season is to score 15 goals. I want to break this hoodoo of not scoring for two seasons. My goal drought is a motivating factor for me now,” Mthembu said.

“I’m hungry to score and I have confidence in my ability. Of course I’m still behind with my level of fitness as I joined the guys late in pre-season. But I am planning to bring that killer instinct into my game this season.”


IOL Sport