Despite all he has achieved in a glittering career spanning nearly 20 years, AmaZulu striker Siyabonga Nomvethe is as hungry as ever to get on to the football field.
It was as far back as 1997 that ‘Bhele’ first came to prominence, scoring 11 goals for African Wanderers. He then spent three very successful years at Kaizer Chiefs, scoring 42 goals in 79 matches and becoming a fans’ favourite. Internationally, he represented Bafana Bafana 81 times and scored 16 goals.
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Europe beckoned next after Chiefs, the Durban-born marksman having represented Udinese in Italy’s Serie A, also enjoying short stints in Denmark and Sweden. He also had a brief period with Orlando Pirates before settling down with Moroka Swallows, where he scored 53 goals in 149 matches and came extremely close to helping the Birds win the Absa Premiership title four seasons back.
His outstanding goal-scoring feats have continued to light up the NFD, the 38-year-old having netted nine goals in 23 matches for Swallows and AmaZulu, whom he joined mid-season.
The lively marksman, who turns 39 in December, looks set to follow in the footsteps of the late John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu by continuing to play into his 40’s.
Nomvethe certainly feels he still has plenty of gas in the tank:
“Eish, I haven’t thought of retirement and to be honest I want to continue playing until I’m well over 40 years old,” he told the AmaZulu website.
“Players are well looked after here (at AmaZulu), much more than I expected. The supporters are also amazing people who uplift the players even though most of the times are trying.”
And he is still as motivated as ever, happy to put in extra work:
“I don’t wait for instructions from fitness staff. I run from Umhlanga to KwaMashu (over 15 kilometers) every week and this ensures sharpness come match day.
“I also take time out to rest. I just like to keep it simple by spending time with my family. It’s not always easy though because I look after my businesses when I have time too.”