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i've buried my past, mabizela

By unknown | Feb 18, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Controversial Platinum Stars defender Mbulelo "OJ" Mabizela says his off-the-field shenanigans are a thing of the past.

He says he is looking forward to starting anew at the ambitious North West club.

The gifted defender also firmly believes that the door back to Bafana Bafana is still open to him.

"I have a new life at Stars and I want to work hard to revive my chances of returning to Bafana Bafana," said Mabizela yesterday.

He was speaking after their training session at Sun City.

"I know what I'm capable of and I want to go back to the national team and contribute meaningfully to my country. I know what I did in the past was wrong, and I don't want to repeat that," Mabizela said.

"I'm a human being and am not perfect. I make mistakes like any other human being. There are players who do things wrong outside football but they are not criticised by the media like me."

He described the Tycoons as an ambitious team and did not rule out the Royal Bafokeng-owned club winning the championship in the near future.

But he pointed out that the owners must continue to shop for more experienced players to strength the team, especially in attack and at the back.

Asked why he chose Stars over Pirates, who were also courting him, the soft-spoken defender said Stars acted swiftly.

Lamontville Golden Arrows, Bloemfontein Celtic and Thanda Royal Zulu were also chasing Mabizela, who was off-loaded by Mamelodi Sundowns after his disappearing acts infuriated club boss Patrice Motsepe.

Mabizela is training with the Stars first team but is not fully fit as he is recovering from a knee injury that has sidelined him for more than three months. He is expected to be ready to play competitively in two weeks' time.

But just like his former teammate at Downs, Dillon Sheppard, he looked impressive at training yesterday. Sheppard, who played 90 minutes against Bidvest Wits recently, said he did not regret becoming a Tycoon.

"They are a fascinating team with a vision. People were wondering why I decided to leave a big team like Sundowns for Stars, but watch this team in the near future," said Sheppard who did not play against Bay United on Saturday because of suspension.

Jabu Mahlangu looked happy at training after suffering a chest problem last week. He insisted that he was ill and brushed aside claims he went AWOL.


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