Absa Premiership

Why Matlaba lost his mind with Orlando Pirates

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

Cape Town - Former Orlando Pirates left-back, Thabo Matlaba, says not playing and being left out of the match-day squad completely caused him mental distress.

Matlaba has been a star performer for the Sea Robbers since 2011/12 but made just seven league appearances in 2018/19.

The 31-year-old was offered a reduced deal to remain with Pirates however he opted to move to Black Leopards in search of first team football.

Speaking to Soccer Laduma, he said: "After Orlando Pirates took their decision (not to keep him), I had to start looking for a new club.

"To be honest, the chairman (Irvin Khoza) wanted me to stay because (he's got a) soft spot for me, but bengifuna ukudlala ibhola (I wanted to play football).

"I wanted to play football, so I was not playing (at Pirates) and ngiyabona ukuthi uma ungadlali, ingqondo ayithathi kahle (I see that when you're not playing, your mind is not stable). Going to training daily but, at the end of the day, you're not even making the 18-man squad.

"At least when you make the squad, you have hope to finally break into the starting line-up. Not even going to camp with the team makes you lose your mind. So, after their decision, I had to move on. I had been in touch with ubaba (Mr) David Thidiela, who was constantly monitoring my situation."

The former Bafana Bafana defender has penned a two-year deal with Leopards and will no doubt hope to rejuvenate his career in 2019/20.

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