Absa Premiership

Pirates pay tribute to long-serving fullback

Thabo Matlaba (Gallo Images)
Thabo Matlaba (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates have thanked long-serving fullback Thabo Matlaba for his contribution to the club involving seven-and-a-half years of stellar service.

Matlaba decided to part ways with the Sea Robbers earlier this week after turning down an offer to take a pay-cut to stay at club.

The player, nicknamed 'Festival', had fallen out of favour under coach Milutin Sredojevic in 2018/19 and it was unclear what his future might be with his deal coming to an end.

However, he has since parted ways with the Soweto giants and said his goodbyes to the team's official website.

He said: "I know some people were asking 'who is Thabo Matlaba' and maybe some people undermined my capabilities after coming from a small team like Free State Stars.

"So playing like I did against Maritzburg United (on debut) also gave me opportunity to prove that I can play for a big team like Pirates."

The club added: "From that match, Festival, as he is affectionately known, went on to establish himself as a regular feature at left back. Pirates went on to secure the treble that year with Thabo playing alongside the likes of Benni McCarthy, Lucky Lekgwathi and Siyabonga Sangweni.

"Thabo went on to even captain the Mighty Buccaneers as well as play in both the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup finals, and also lift more silverware in the form of the Nedbank Cup in 2014.

"There are no words to fully express the gratitude towards Thabo's contribution at the Club and even though he has featured less on the field in recent seasons, he remained a positive and influential member of the squad.

"Thank you for the wonderful memories Festival!"

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