Itumeleng Shopane yearns for Kaizer Chiefs action
He may be on loan at Moroka Swallows, but budding Kaizer Chiefs utility striker Itumeleng Shopane remains optimistic that he'll eventually crack it in the Amakhosi first team.
Shopane, 22, is drawing motivation from his blossoming peers - Njabulo Blom, Happy Mashiane and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, among others - with whom he played in the Chiefs MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) before they ascended to the top-flight.
"I really believe I have a future with Chiefs. Only thing I need to do is to prove myself here at Swallows. I am not in a situation where I say 'why is it not me who's promoted'. For me, it's all about being patient," Shopane told Sowetan.
"Seeing people I played with for a long time, over five years [in the MDC], doing well in the first team keeps me going. Ngcobo, Mashiane, Siya [Ngezana] and Blom are good examples that hard work pays off."
Shopane caught a glimpse of top-flight football when he played three minutes in the pre-season friendly, the Carling Black Label Cup, against Orlando Pirates in July.
As much as he's optimistic and patient, Shopane admits he's done some introspection about his rather steady progress.
Interestingly, the Amakhosi youth development product partly attributes his lack of progress to his versatility.
"It's a tricky situation [why he has not been promoted yet] because I have been in the first team and I played in the Carling Cup," said Shopane.
"I have been played in different positions, when I was called-up at Amajita, I was a striker, coach Zwane also plays me at right-back and at Swallows I played as No10. sometimes this is a disadvantage."