By Mandla Dladla & Andile Dladla
Sibongiseni Ngcobo stressed that his team prepared thoroughly for their Nedbank Cup match they lost to Mamelodi Sundowns, but their best was simply not good enough on the day.
Without making any excuses, he also feels that the gap between the GladAfrica Championship and the DSTV Premiership in terms of standards is simply too high and on the day, Sundowns were the better side.
“I feel as an individual I did not perform to the best of my abilities,” said Ngcobo. “I just did not perform the way I always do in that game. What also contributed to my below par performance was the fact that I carried a hamstring injury on the day and I just could not get out of second gear.’
As the season inches towards the business end of the championship, he feels confident that Polokwane City stands a very good chance of winning the league championship because only eight points separate them from the leading side.
“In addition, we have played a game less than the teams at the top and this could work in our favour. I’m fully aware that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush and we cannot count our chickens, but we are fairly confident that we can catch up to the leaders.”
Ngcobo grew up supporting Kaizer Chiefs and was always driven by the belief that one day his dream of playing for one of the biggest teams in Africa would come true and it did.
“When I arrived at the village in Naturena back in 2011 after joining the development ranks, we played in the Castle League while the senior head coach at the time was Stuart Baxter.”
After two seasons, he was promoted to the senior team and his dream was fulfilled. At the time coach Steve Kompela came in and the management informed him that he was promoted to the senior team and he fell into the guidance of guys like Morgan Gould, Bernard Parker, Willard Katsande and Eric Mathoho.
“I was sent on loan to Chippa United FC back in 2016/17 season which did not go down well as I was not getting any game time. I went back to Chiefs at the end of that season and was sent out on loan once again but this time to Cape Town All Stars.
“I was playing well and put a total of 20 games under my belt. I returned to Chiefs at the end of that season but played mostly in the DSTV Diski Challenge which is considered the Reserve League. I had a good development and working extra hard helped me grow as a player.
“My advice to young players is to focus on positive things and to always consult those who have been there ahead of us. Some of us footballers are not educated enough and so it is important to invest in things like property so that after playing the game we love so much we are still able to live well and take care of our families.”