Absa Premiership

Ertugral: Shabba was already a 'big name' in Turkey

Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo Images)
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral says Siphiwe Tshabalala is already well known in Turkey.

Tshabalala has signed a two year deal with an option for another year with Turkish top flight club Erzurumspor.

Ertugral, who was born in Istanbul and has previously coached in his home country, has revealed that Tshabalala, who claimed global recognition for his stunning goal against Mexico in the 2010 World Cup, was already known in Turkey before his move was sealed this week.

"He has a big name in Turkey; we have often spoken about him and people know him very well. Hopefully he can fulfill those expectations," Ertugral told TimesLIVE.

"We wanted him when I was in Sivasspor in 2009 and we really put a lot of money on the table. I have had a wish in the last few years that he would go play in Turkey.

"He looks after himself, so for him age is only a number," Ertugral continued. "Lebo [Manyama] was a little unlucky, but it is important for South Africans - given the history of recent years - to go there and play in that league."

Erzurumspor were only formed in 2005 and won promotion via the play-offs last season after finishing fifth in the second tier.

The Urban Warriors mentor went on to offer a word of caution to 'Shabba' in that he may have a challenge to get acquainted to a new culture.

"They are a team on the Asian side in what I call the far east of Turkey," he said.

"He [Tshabalala] will have to adapt to the Eastern way of thinking. For him, I wish it was a team from, say Istanbul, or those areas [in the west of the country]."

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