Striker's heart is in Europe

Pirates dumped me at TTM, Shonga fumes

Neville Khoza Journalist
Justin Shonga
Justin Shonga
Image: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

Nearly forgotten striker Justin Shonga has made scathing remarks about his former club Orlando Pirates, accusing them of dumping him at Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) without his consent.

Shonga was one of the new players who were unveiled by TTM in Polokwane yesterday, but the striker was quick to attack his former team.

“I think this move was already planned by Pirates because I didn’t even know that I would be coming to this side. I had other plans with my agent, so by the time the season was finished I think they had already spoken to them,” Shonga told the media after he was unveiled yesterday.

“I was called to the office by the chairman [Irvin Khoza], that’s when I was told.”

Pirates may have used the move to punish Shonga for his alleged ill-discipline, having missed the Premier Soccer League bio-bubble towards the end of the season.

They said at that time that Shonga and Thembinkosi Lorch were both excluded from the squad that reported for the BSE bubble following a breach of the team’s protocols.

The Zambian international, however, who struggled for game time at the Buccaneers under Josef Zinnbauer, said he planned to go to Europe and will use this move to market himself.

“Clubs in Europe were waiting for me, but unfortunately, Pirates never wanted to release me that time,” Shonga said.

“By the time they released me, the window in Europe was closed. So the people in Europe said, I can go in January. It is not a loan move. I got my clearance from Pirates, and I’m only here for game time. If I can play for six months, then I can make a move. As long as the window is open and those clubs still need me, I will go there.

“One of my goals to be here is to revive myself and find my feet again. I know they will give me game time, so I need to pay them back. My fitness level must go back so that whenever I’m going to move from here to Europe, I will be there where they know me from.”

Thabo Mnyamane, Edgar Manaka, Washington Arubi, Meshack Maphangule, Miguel Timm, Ayanda Nkili, Nicolus Lukhubeni, Augustine Mulenga, and Lerato Lamola were some of the players who were unveiled by TTM yesterday.

The future of Oupa Manyisa, however, who joined the club in July after signing two-year-deal, remains in doubt. TTM chairman Lawrence Mulaudzi told the media yesterday that there were issues with him that they were trying to sort out.

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