Thamsanqa Sangweni dreams of return

Thamsanqa Sangweni, the former Chippa United skipper, is now a free agent.
Thamsanqa Sangweni, the former Chippa United skipper, is now a free agent.
Image: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

Former Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates midfielder Thamsanqa Sangweni has vowed to bounce back with a bang, believing he's yet to reach the pinnacle of his career, despite having had unsuccessful stints at some of Gauteng's biggest teams.

Now a free agent after unexpectedly leaving Maritzburg United in December, Sangweni is doing all sorts of gruelling workouts at his homestead in Dondotha, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.

According to Sangweni, the taxing exercises are keeping him fit and focused while he waits for offers after the coronavirus crisis. The former Chippa United skipper remains adamant that he hasn't reached his prime yet.

"During this lockdown I train by myself at home. I do all these tough exercises like hiking the mountains, hitting the road and lifting tyres," Sangweni told Sowetan.

"I am preparing myself. I'll be ready because I have been going hard at the gym. I'm in a great mental space. I just want to play football again... people haven't seen the real Thami and I promise the best is yet to come."

Asked if he still fancies his chances of playing for one of the so-called big three in Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns again, after enduring torrid spells at Downs and Pirates, Sangweni suggested anything was possible.

"Ebholeni ngeke wazi ukuthi ikusasa lizobanjani (in football, you'll never predict the future), so I can't say I am not believing it can happen again."

Sangweni admits that he was stunned when the Team of Choice showed him the exit, six months after joining from second-tier side Richards Bay.

"I was not expecting to leave Maritzburg but I accepted it. There was nothing sinister... they just called me to the office and told me I was no longer in their plans," Sangweni, who turns 31 on May 26, reflected.

"I then asked for my clearance, and here I am today."

Moving to Sundowns from AmaZulu in 2012, Sangweni carried high expectations, but failed to make the grade in in Chloorkop, playing 14 games. He was then loaned out to Chippa United and Ajax Cape Town. Things also didn't work out well for him at Pirates as he managed only three games during his one-year stay.

"During my time at Sundowns I had too many personal and family challenges, so I could not focus. At Pirates injuries played a big role in me not playing regularly. Now I am matured... coming home in KZN to be closer to my family helped me solve my problems of which I can't reveal publicly," Sangweni said.

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