'I wanted a new challenge in my career'

Sinkala puts positive spin on move from TP Mazembe to Stellies

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United and Nathan Sinkala of Stellenbosch FC
Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United and Nathan Sinkala of Stellenbosch FC
Image: Gallo Images

Leaving such giants of African football as TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for Stellenbosch, SA's top flight newbies who are still trying to find their footing in the big league, can easily be interpreted as a downgrade in any footballer’s career.

Nathan Sinkala however did not see the switch as a step when he left Mazembe for Stellenbosch last Januray. Exactly a year later, the talented Zambian defensive midfielder still feels it was the best decision for his career.

“I didn’t see it as a step back ... I stayed in DRC for over eight years and I won everything [including the 2014/15 CAF Champions League]. I made the move to Stellenbosch because I wanted a new challenge in my career,’’ Sinkala told Sowetan.

The 30-year-old Stellies central midfielder feels the Vodacom Ligue 1 of DRC and the DStv Premiership are almost on par in terms of competitiveness, while SA beats the DRC in terms of infrastructure.

“The leagues are almost the same. There are only a few differences in terms of facilities like stadiums. The SA league has more advanced facilities," noted Sinkala.

Despite playing deep in the engine room, Sinkala has already netted three goals from nine outings this season. This is a return many central midfielders in the DStv Premiership can only dream of. The Zambian hasn't hidden his intention to score more goals, despite his more defensive role in the team.

“My primary role in every game is to be a defensive midfielder but if an opportunity presents itself for me to score, I will gladly do it over and over again,’’ said Sinkala.

“Modern football is not like in the olden days, where one only needed to be at a specific position. Things have changed. Now a midfielder has the freedom to defend and at the same time go forward in order to score or perhaps create chances for the team to score. I want to score more goals. Hopefully I will stay injury free.’’

Sinkala is expected to start when Stellies host Black Leopards at Danie Craven Stadium at 5pm today.

Fixtures

Today: Stellenbosch v Leopards, Danie Craven Stadium (5pm)

Tomorrow: Baroka v Sundowns, Peter Mokaba (3pm); Galaxy v SuperSport, Mbombela Stadium (3pm); Arrows v Chippa, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium (3.30pm); Tshakhuma v CPT City, Thohoyandou Stadium (5pm); Chiefs v Maritzburg, FNB Stadium (5pm)

Sunday: Pirates v Swallows, Orlando Stadium (5pm); Celtic v AmaZulu, Dr Molemela Stadium (3.30pm).

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