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Midfielder opted not to dance out of respect for ex-coach Hunt

Nange explains why he didn't celebrate against Chiefs

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Phathutshedzo Nange of Stellenbosch FC challenged by Siyabonga Ngezana and Kearyn Baccus of Kaizer Chiefs.
Phathutshedzo Nange of Stellenbosch FC challenged by Siyabonga Ngezana and Kearyn Baccus of Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

That Stellenbosch’s Phathutshedzo Nange didn’t celebrate his goal in their Tuesday’s 2-2 stalemate away to Kaizer Chiefs set tongues wagging, with many assuming the 29-year-old forewent enjoying his ferocious header because he’s a deal in principle to link-up with Amakhosi next season.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Nange reasoned that he didn’t celebrate against Chiefs out of respect for Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt, who signed him for the now extinct Bidvest Wits from Black Leopards in July 2019.

Nange insisted even if Hunt was coaching Stellenbosch and he was playing for Chiefs he’d not have celebrated, saying the same goes for Joel Masutha, who coached him at Lidoda Duvha.

“It wasn’t the first time I didn’t celebrate when I score against a coach I respect. I didn’t celebrate when I scored against TTM because the coach was Masutha, who coached me at Leopards. We have a good relationship,’’ Nange said.

“It’s the same with coach Hunt. The man came and signed me for Wits and that changed my career for the best. I have huge respect for Hunt and I will never celebrate against him. Even if I was playing for Chiefs and he was at Stellenbosch I would not have jumped up and down in jubilation.’’

Nange also made it clear it’s not all the coaches he’s worked with in his career that he’d abandon celebrating  against the clubs they train at that given moment.

“I have worked with a lot of coaches in my career, especially at Leopards, but that doesn’t mean I won’t celebrate if I score against their current teams. I only do this for Hunt and Masutha because of the good relationship we have,’’ Nange explained.

Before joining Stellies in November, Nange was training with Chiefs but Amakhosi’s two-window transfer ban meant even if they wanted to, they couldn’t sign him. At the Cape Winelands, Nange penned a one-year deal, refuelling rumours he will join Chiefs when their ban is over in June.

“I can’t speak about next season because my focus is on this season with my team Stellenbosch,’’ Nange noted when asked about the possibility of working with Hunt at Naturena next season.

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