Orlando Pirates target Thabang Matuludi Image: FARPost

Orlando Pirates target Thabang Matuludi Image: FARPost

‘I was going to train with Chiefs on Tuesday but signed at Pirates’

An Orlando Pirates legend details how he signed with Kaizer Chiefs in 2010, before an Irvin Khoza phone call changed everything!

Orlando Pirates target Thabang Matuludi Image: FARPost

Orlando Pirates target Thabang Matuludi Image: FARPost

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates used to be the most desirable destinations for players in the country. 

While nowadays playing abroad is the objective, back in the days playing for Chiefs or Pirates was regarded the pinnacle. 

The desire to join either Chiefs or Pirates is often fuelled by certain factors. In those days money was not the objective, motivation nor even present in South African football. What the players had was the love for the game and their clubs. What attracted one to a Chiefs or Pirates was the desire for trophies or even popularity. Alternatively, in a case where both wanted you, you’d pick the club you or your family members support. 

But nowadays, you see players making the choice with a more professional mindset, rather than their hearts. A player who grew up supporting Chiefs could end up joining Pirates instead, because of a better offer, and vice versa. In fact, some of the greatest legends from either side of the Soweto divide grew up supporting their rivals. It is also common.

Sangweni signed with Chiefs

What happens in an instance where you sign for both? Pirates legend Siyabonga Sangweni explains he had signed for Amakhosi before crossing the divide! 

“My father wanted me to play for Chiefs, but my mother was close to Mato [Madlala]. Before mom passed away, she said everything you will do, here is your mom [pointing at Mato Madlala] who will tell you what to do in football. I told Mato I wanted to go to Chiefs and she said, ‘Okay you will go’. I signed with Chiefs in 2010 and told Mato: ‘I’ve signed with Chiefs and have to start on Tuesday’. Sis Mato then told me they want you at Pirates. I was confused how because I was done with Chiefs. She said forget about that, I’m your parent and everything will go well.” Sangweni said to FARPost.

Sangweni then recalls the phone call from Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza that took him away from Chiefs.

Ended up at Pirates

“After that, chairman [Irvin Khoza] phoned me and said, ‘Look, we have spoken with your mom. You belong at Pirates now’ and I eventually agreed. They booked me a flight for a meeting to discuss contracts in Johannesburg. And that was the end of the story, I ended up Indoda Emnyama, Once and Always.” Recalls Sangweni. 

Chiefs fans can only wonder what could’ve been, had Sangweni been theirs instead of Pirates.