Free agent: Vilakazi vows to return to top form

2011-06-23 00:00

FORMER Orlando Pirates superstar Benedict “Tso” Vilakazi believes he still has a lot to offer to local football despite his star not shining as brightly as before.

Vilakazi is a free agent after his contract with Mamelodi Sundowns was not renewed. He had spent six months on loan at Mpumalanga Black Aces, where he failed to help the team stave off relegation.

With the new season kicking off in two months’ time, Vilakazi sees himself dazzling the fans on the pitch. But which team will he be turning out for?

“Right now I am a free agent, but my agency [Prosport International] is working to secure me a deal. I know the last two seasons have not been great to me, but I believe I will recapture the form that wowed people and become a household name again. I have survived many negative things in my life. They don’t call me “Bhubesi” [Lion] for nothing. I will bounce back again,” said Vilakazi.

By “negative things” Vilakazi is referring to allegations of rape and age cheating that surfaced while he was on top of his game for the SA U20 and Orlando Pirates sides.

A move down to Durban, at Lamontville Golden Arrows, for the 29-year old Sowetan cannot be ruled out.

The Witness understands that a deal might be reached soon after spotting Vilakazi and Arrows chairperson Mato Madlala locked in conversation during the Siyabonga Nkosi Soccer Challenge in Newcastle at the weekend.

“I can not confirm for now which teams are interested in me, but people can rest assured that a team I will join will suit my style of play,” he said.

Since returning from a short-lived overseas spell, Vilakazi has failed to recapture the form that catapulted him to superstardom while churning out impressive performances at Pirates and later for Bafana Bafana.

Despite his stocky physique, Vilakazi carried Pirates on his shoulders. That impressive form secured him a move to Danish Premier side Aalborg BK in the 2007/08 season.

His stay was not fruitful as he suffered a stroke, resulting in him being released.

Upon his return to South Africa Vilakazi stunned the local football fraternity by opting to sign for big-spending Mamelodi Sundowns instead of Pirates.

Injuries and poor form characterised his stay at Chloorkop and he was shipped out on loan to struggling Black Aces last season.

At Aces Vilakazi once more courted controversy when he was suspended for unacceptable behaviour towards a referee during a game against his former club Pirates.

Aces ditched him before the end of the season, but he has revealed that he has taken the club to the dispute resolution chamber due to money owed to him.

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