Orlando Pirates midfielder Ntsako Makhubela has admitted that he did not want to return to the Soweto Giants at first.
While Makhubela came up through the ranks at Pirates, he really made a name for himself during loan spells.
Orlando Pirates wanted academy product back
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It has become a feature of the PSL that Orlando Pirates academy players flourish when they leave Mayfair.
This was also the case with Ntsako Makhubela.
It was his spell at Golden Arrows and particularly his form during the Durban side’s fourth place finish in 2021.
“I grew up here [at Pirates, playing for their lower league reserve team Yebo Yes United] and I was loaned out [to first-division Real Kings] to get experience,” he said according to The Sowetan.
He also added: “I left as a kid and came back as an adult who knows what is required as an Orlando Pirates player.
“I actually asked to be loaned out. Because back then they had great players such as Oupa Manyisa and Benni [McCarthy]. I was still a school kid. After I finished matric in 2012, I asked if they could loan me out so I could get game time [elsewhere].”
Feelings getting in the way
Makhubela’s reluctance to rejoin Orlando Pirates bled into his game last term.
“Even when I was playing I hadn’t really come to terms with [being] back and I had to deal with that situation.
“At Golden Arrows I had been enjoying my football and I knew when I came back I would have to adjust to things at Pirates.
“There was not much I could do [about the move]. I told myself I need to be ready to go and play for Pirates.”
Fighting for his Orlando Pirates future
Makhubela remains popular with many fans and wants to fight for his place under new coach Jose Riveiro.
“Coming into this season there’s a new coach and I really can’t say he doesn’t prefer me or anything like that,” Makhubela said.
“Another important thing is that Pirates are not only Makhubela, we are a team, and the good thing is Pirates are winning.
“All I have to do is keep on clapping for the guys and wait for my chance because I know what I can do. My dream is to shake the world.
“People have not seen the best of me, the real me. Last season I was still adjusting to being back at Pirates and trying to find my feet because its is one of the biggest teams in South Africa. When you play for them, you are already a part of the brand.”