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Shabba treasures 50-goal milestone

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa | 2017-03-22 10:12:55.0

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala waited eight months to make his Amakhosi debut after signing from Free State Stars in January 2007, but has made up for lost time.

The man nicknamed "Shabba" is delighted to have scored his 50th goal for the club in a 3-0 win over Stellenbosch United in the first round of the Nedbank Cup recently.

"It is a milestone and I'm just grateful. I wouldn't have achieved that without the support from family, friends, teammates and coaches - past and present," Tshabalala told Sowetan.

He made his Chiefs debut against Bidvest Wits in August 2007. It was a losing start as Chiefs went down 1-0.

The Phiri-born, Soweto, midfielder went on to score his first goal two months later in a 1-0 win over SuperSport United in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout.

Chiefs later beat another Pretoria side Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 on penalties in the final, which was Tshabalala's first trophy with the club.

The 32-year-old has marked some of his milestones with goals against his former side, Free State Stars, which was "emotional" for him.

"In my 200th game for Chiefs (in 2013), I scored a goal against my former club and we won 2-0. And when I made my 300th appearance [for Chiefs], I scored against them again (last year)," he recalled.

In fact, Tshabalala picks his long-range strike against Ea Lla Koto in August 2015 at FNB Stadium as one of his favourite Chiefs strikes.

So can Tshabalala break Marks Maponyane's club record of 85 goals?

"(Laughs). Yoh! You know for me it is one game at a time and improving on my game as well," he said.

Tshabalala also has another Chiefs record in his sights, which is for the most appearances for the club (397), and that is held by his "idol" Doctor Khumalo. Shabba has 322 appearances to his name.

"Doc being my childhood idol and going on to break his record will be massive.

"It is not impossible and it can be done," said Tshabalala, who signed a new one-year contract extension two months ago. The former Bafana Bafana midfielder hopes that Chiefs can win the league this season, which he believes will be great reward for the club's supportive chairman Kaizer Motaung.

"I've been with the team for 10 years and I don't recall a day the chairman raised his voice when talking to the players or being harsh," he added.