Siyabonga Sangweni defends his turf

2012-10-26 12:20

Defender Siyabonga Sangweni, 31, played a pivotal role in Orlando Pirates’ successful defence of their Absa Premier Soccer League crown in the 2011/2012 season and was also short-listed for the coveted Player of the Year award.

TV commentator and former Bafana Bafana player Mark Williams assesses Siyabonga’s strengths.

1. Beat the best

Siyabonga is one of the best defenders in the PSL.

He usually gets the better of most local strikers. I think he was very unlucky not to receive the ultimate accolade as South Africa’s player of the year earlier in 2012.

He was also influential in helping Pirates win the treble of titles last season, and was an excellent buy for the team.

2. Shoulder responsibility
One of the reasons Pirates has been so dominant is that Siyabonga, as the man in the heart of the defensive line-up, takes responsibility.

He never wavers or shirks and he absorbs the pressure. He is also not an inconsistent performer who makes match-winning defensive saves, just to lose his concentration and allow a striker to beat him a few minutes later.

He consistently performs at a high level.

3. Feels like fish
He reminds me of the former Bafana Bafana defender Mark Fish.

Like Mark, he does not stay at the back to defend. He likes to move forward and attack, and then moves back to the second last line of defenders again.

To do that, you have to be extremely fit. Siyabonga has the ability to move around the field and take part in play.

4. Go for goal
If you look at Sangweni’s contribution at Pirates, he has also scored a number of goals (four in his first
28 games for Pirates), which played a critical role in their ability to win the PSL crown last season.

5. Different defender

While he’s not particularly robust or extremely fast, his skills assets are different.

His awareness and ability to read play helps him to cut down the space of the strikers.

He is a street-wise and smart defender, who reads situations and prevents strikers from beating him.

He anticipates very well, which puts him in an excellent position to defend when the strikers move closer to the box.

6. Confident player

One of Siyabonga’s greatest assets is his self-belief and confidence.

He also creates chances for the attacking midfielders with his industriousness and movement around the park.

Siyabonga is not a player who plays just according to the script – if he sees an opportunity, he will grab it, simply because of his superior awareness and reading of the game.

» Get your iMag with City Press on Sunday

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


China's air pollution at doomsday levels

China has long been struggling with air pollution issues but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – it has.



Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping
How safe are your baby products?
5 maps that will change the way you see the world

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.