Sat Oct 21 12:38:27 SAST 2017

Shabba happy to clock a rare feat

2017-02-10 15:59:32.0 | Tiyani wa ka Mabasa |

Siphiwe Tshabalala's down-to-earth nature and self discipline has been key to him clocking a decade with Kaizer Chiefs.

"Shabba" is reliable and the hard work he puts in has made him a key component for all the coaches he has worked with since joining the club in 2007.

"The club has made life easy for me but I do not got everything on a silver platter," said 32-year-old Tshabalala this week in an exclusive interview with Sowetan.

"I've worked very hard and I've been disciplined. I don't even recall being called to the chairman's [Kaizer Motaung] office or Bobby's [Motaung] for misbehaving or having a quarrel with one of the players or disrespecting anyone," he said proudly.

Tshabalala was signed by Chiefs despite carrying a serious knee injury and thought the club would cancel the deal when the injury was discovered.

"I can only be thankful to the chairman and Bobby, who have been very supportive since I came to the club carrying the injury," Tshabalala continued.

"I remember when I signed with the club I had to go for medicals and I received the shocking news that I must urgently go for an operation. I was so devastated and the first thing that came to mind was that Chiefs were going to terminate the contract, but Bobby was there for me all the way. Everyone was very supportive."

Tshabalala was out for eight months and only made his debut as a substitute against Bidvest Wits in August 2007. Chiefs lost 1-0 on the day.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder with 88 caps has gone on to repay the club's faith in him.

Over the years, he has made 316 official appearances and scored 47 goals. He has helped the club win two league titles and six cup competitions.

The Phiri-born, Soweto, midfielder said he's had no reason to consider a move away from Chiefs and would love to end his career at the club.

"I would love to retire here. The team has showed me love and respect," added Tshabalala, who has made a record 29 appearances in the Soweto Derby.

His current contract with Chiefs runs until June 2018 and he's still on course to break Doctor Khumalo's record of 397 appearances for the club.

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