Cape Town - New Kaizer Chiefs signing Ashley du Preez has admitted it wasn’t “an easy decision” to leave Stellenbosch FC.
The duo caught the attention of the Amakhosi scouts after powering Stellies to fourth on the Dstv Premiership table. They were also part of the Stellies side that did “the double” over Chiefs last season, with Du Preez scoring the winner at FNB Stadium.
“It’s never an easy decision leaving a club like Stellenbosch, a town that’s given me so much, a community that’s given me so much. I want to thank the management, the coaching staff, Garth Le Roux, Rob Benadie. I want to thank them for supporting me. I want to thank the community for supporting me through thick and thin,” said Du Preez, who started his professional career with Stellenbosch FC in the National First Division five years ago.
Chiefs, who are undergoing another coaching re-structure, are starting a new era under Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard after the duo were officially handed the coaching reins last week.
Stellenbosch FC would like to thank Ashley Du Preez for his incredible service to the club and we wish him all the best on his move to the #Amakhosi— Stellenbosch FC (@StellenboschFC) May 30, 2022
Du Preez had this to say: 🎥⬇️#StellenboschFC #ProudlyStellenbosch 🍇 pic.twitter.com/Zy5R9pvWcK
Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker was particularly sad to see Kwinika depart as he believes the centre-back is among the very best in the Dstv Premiership.
“It will be tough to replace a player like Zitha. I rate him as one of the best centre backs in this League and I’m glad we could provide the opportunity for him to showcase his abilities and develop into the player that he is today. Even though it’s tough to see him go, we are incredibly happy for Zitha and wish him all the best in his next chapter,” Barker said.
The highly-rated defender, who was part of Chiefs’ academy intake in his youth before moving to Chippa United, Thanda Royal Zulu and Bidvest Wits, credited Stellenbosch for helping him get his career back on track.
“I’m grateful for Stellenbosch, especially coach Steve Barker, Rob Benadie but more importantly my teammates. They helped me become a better player, so I am quite grateful for the team, and everyone involved in the backroom staff. I also want to thank the supporters for the love they showed me,” Kwinika said.
“Even though I am looking forward to the new challenge that lies ahead of me I will always represent the Winelands wherever I go because they helped me to grow and become a better player, a better individual, and a better human being.”