Chiefs Youngster Mduduzi Opens Up On Pirates Trial And Hopeful Future In Football
Kaizer Chiefs’ rising star, Mdududzi Shabalala, recently revealed that despite growing up as a supporter of Orlando Pirates, he turned down the opportunity to play for them and instead chose to join Amakhosi.
The 19-year-old player made a significant impact in the Chiefs’ first team after arriving as a 16-year-old, and he was even named the U17 COSAFA Cup Player of the Tournament for South Africa within a few months of joining.
Although he has only played in less than 20 development and DStv Diski Challenge games combined, he has already caught the attention of Chiefs’ first-team coach Arthur Zwane and is knocking on the door for a place in the starting eleven. As he heads into his first Soweto Derby, he reflects on how his decision to join Kaizer Chiefs has shaped his career thus far.
“It’s true, I supported Orlando Pirates, and everyone in my family supports them, but since I joined Kaizer Chiefs, I had to change my allegiance and support my current club. I am now a Kaizer Chiefs fan, and I will remain one until the end,” he said at the Vodacom Soweto Derby media event.
However, Shabalala revealed that his father is not happy with his decision to switch teams and still supports Pirates. “My father is not in favor of my decision, and even now, he wants to beat me,” he joked.
Kaizer Chiefs rising star Mdududzi Shabalala has praised his former youth coach for taking him to trials at the Soweto giants and explained why he chose to represent Amakhosi over their rivals. The 19-year-old admitted that he first tried out at Orlando Pirates but ultimately preferred the challenge at Chiefs.
“Coach Sifiso played a big role in my life, he’s the one who took me to Kaizer Chiefs. At Chiefs, they made it difficult for me, I trialed for about three to four months and I told him that’s the type of challenge I want in football,” he said. Shabalala went on to become the U17 COSAFA Cup Player of the Tournament for South Africa and has quickly risen through the ranks to earn a place in the Chiefs’ first team under Arthur Zwane.
Shabalala elaborated, “I began training at Orlando Pirates, but it was apparent that the level of play was not suitable for me. There was a GDL Cup tournament taking place in Randburg at the time, and while I was playing for Lenasia Soccer Academy under Coach Sifiso, we watched Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates from the sidelines.
“I observed Coach Sifiso’s players, how they performed, and how they displayed their skills and enjoyment of the game by dribbling and buzzing around. That’s exactly what I wanted, and once I arrived at Kaizer Chiefs, I felt like I was playing real football and I would succeed here.”
In his debut season for Chiefs, Shabalala has scored two goals in nine games and is preparing for his first Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.