Absa Premiership

Johnson says Nomvethe's playing days are numbered

Siyabonga Nomvethe (Gallo Images)
Siyabonga Nomvethe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - AmaZulu head coach Cavin Johnson says that veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe's playing days are numbered, and he is not likely to see much game-time for the rest of the season. 

The 39-year-old, who turns 40 on Saturday, started his career with African Wanderers in 1997 but really made his name with Kaizer Chiefs where he banged in 48 goals in 82 starts before moving to Europe.

The forward had spells at UdineseSalernitana and Empoli in Italy‚ Djurgaden in Sweden, and Aalborg in Denmark. He later returned home before starring for Moroka Swallows - Nomvethe hammered home 20 league goals in 2011/12 for the Dube Birds.

He later joined Usuthu in the National First Division before returning to the PSL when the club bought their top-flight status. For Bafana Bafana, the Durban-born star earned 81 caps and made appearances at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups.

Nonetheless, despite bagging a goal in the surprise 2-1 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in October, Nomvethe has started to feature less and less. In fact, it has been a month since he last played in a 3-0 defeat to Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout.

As such, Johnson said that the striker's role would be more related to off-the-field activities in future.

"It is about looking after him‚ but he is also old in the teeth and it is time that the younger guys took over," he said as quoted by the TimesLIVE website.

"It is nothing to do with football‚ it has got to do with the human body and the human mind‚ and where he is at the moment in his life‚ and we are trying to manage that as best we can. 

"He still has a role to play among the younger players within the team because a lot of them are not as old as we think they are. 

"If I took Bhele (Nomvethe) and Mabhuti (Khenyeza) out of the team then my average age is 20." 

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