DURBAN – Thamsanqa Sangweni readily admits that he has failed to live up to his billing as a great talent with massive potential to be a superstar.
However, instead of wallowing in self-pity, the midfielder from Empangeni is putting the past where it belongs and focusing on making the best use of the latest opportunity he has to showcase his undoubted talent.
“I disappointed myself and a lot of people,” Sangweni acknowledged yesterday. “But right now I just want to use this opportunity to revive my career.”
That chance has been provided by Maritzburg United, who yesterday introduced Sangweni and their other new signings at the Umsunduzi Athletics Stadium.
Sangweni joins from National First Division side Richards Bay United - a long way from the dizzy heights of wearing the yellow and blue of Mamelodi Sundowns or the black and white of Orlando Pirates.
Following an impressive three seasons at his first club AmaZulu, Sangweni joined Sundowns in 2012 when he got off to a flyer by scoring on debut as the Brazilians trounced Kaizer Chiefs 4-1 in the quarter-finals of the MTN8.
After that, a lot was expected of him but he failed to live up to his billing. No sooner had he endeared himself to the Sundowns faithful than he was sent packing to Pirates.
Given his older brother Siyabonga’s stellar time with the Buccaneers, expectations were that he would emulate the defensive stalwart.
But after just a single season he was being shipped off to Chippa United.
Looking back at those nomadic seasons of his, Sangweni pinpoints personal problems as being the root cause of his failing to properly establish himself.
“I didn’t play more seasons at Sundowns and Pirates. I had challenges off the field of play (which affected me). It was a challenge that had to do with family, but those are personal issues that I’m not at liberty to divulge in public.
“Last season I was near my family as I was playing for Richards Bay FC. I’ve resolved my issues and everything is now in order.”
🗣️ Coach Eric Tinkler— Maritzburg United FC (@MaritzburgUtd) August 1, 2019
“I think when I look at the players we have and that we have brought in, I am very happy. We will definitely be competitive. Obviously, Its key how we start the season against Golden Arrows.” #WeAreUnited pic.twitter.com/d2BMkHwUlm
With Fortune Makaringe having left for Pirates, Sangweni is expected to fill that void and he is determined to get back to his best with the Team of Choice.
“I’ve learnt from my mistakes. Right now I’m over my challenges and that will help me to get back to my best. I want to help the team do well. I want to make a significant contribution to the team success. I really want to use this opportunity to revive my career,” Sangweni said.
Does he feel any pressure given the achievements of his brother with Pirates as well as Bafana Bafana and his first club Golden Arrows?
“My brother wrote his own legacy when he was still playing. Obviously when people see me they will always compare us. Whatever he achieved, people are also expecting me to achieve. We are brothers but we have different abilities. But I can’t run away from the fact that there will always be pressure because of what he achieved. I have to deal with it.”
That begins in the KZN derby against Arrows on Sunday. A good showing in his Maritzburg debut will no doubt go a long way to setting him up for a revival of his career.@Minenhlecr7