Veteran defender joins Pondo Chiefs

Bilankulu still has hunger for action on soccer pitch

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Musa Bilankulu.
Musa Bilankulu.
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

After penning a six-month deal with an option for a further year with GladAfrica Championship rookies Bizana Pondo Chiefs, veteran defender Musa Bilankulu, 35, has emphasised that hanging up his boots is the last thing on his mind.

Bilankulu joined Pondo Chiefs on New Year’s Day. The utility defender had been kicking his heels after parting ways with Golden Arrows in July last year.

“At the moment I think like a player and I don’t like my mind to start thinking beyond that. My focus is on playing football, that’s all. Retirement is something that I haven’t thought about,’’ Bilankulu told Sowetan yesterday.

“Playing football is my first love, so it’s hard to imagine myself not playing. Even when I left Arrows I made it clear that my aim was to continue playing. I will keep on playing as long as my body allows me to.’’

Bilankulu, who was Arrows’ most-capped player with 230 under his belt, also explained how he joined the second tier’s newbies, who hope to use his experience to inspire the youngsters.

“The chairman [Nkosinathi Mqokiyana] called me and asked me to come and help the team for the remaining six months [of the season] and I agreed. They started calling me before Christmas and we met, then the rest is history,’’ Bilankulu said.

“The chairman told me that he needed my experience. He told me he wanted someone like me who’d help guide the youngsters in the team. That was enough for me to agree to join the team. They appreciate my experience and I am willing to repay them by helping in grooming the youngsters.’’

Pondo Chiefs’ squad is largely made up of inexperienced youngsters. Bilankulu is only the second former top-flight player to be signed by the only Eastern Cape-based GladAfrica side, having snatched up former AmaZulu and Chippa United keeper Mbongeni Mzimela before the start of the campaign.

GladAfrica results

Callies 0, JDR Stars 2; Richards Bay 1, Royal 1; University of Pretoria 0, FS Stars 1; Pondo Chiefs 0, Uthongathi 0; TS Sporting 1, CT All Stars 1; Polokwane 0, Sekhukhune 0; Steenberg 0, Cosmos 2.

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