Chippa United player Linda Shiba says the day he ended his relationship with Orlando Pirates’ development structures was when some light was cast on his dimming soccer career.
The 28-year-old midfielder, who was hoping to make his debut for the Chilli Boys against Highlands Parks in the Telkom Knockout Cup last night, joined the Buccaneers development structures in 2006.
After spending two years with the Soweto giants, Shiba moved from club to club on loan within the National Division League structures under the watchful eye of Pirates.
After five years in the NFD he finally clinched his first Premier Soccer League contract when he signed with Polokwane City in 2014.
“Tsiki Tsiki”, as he is known in football circles, says getting his clearance from Pirates was the best thing that could have happened to his career.
“When I got my clearance from Pirates I felt like there was a heavy load lifted off my shoulders,” Shiba said.
“But age was also not on my side. So, I knew I needed to work harder and push to get into a team in the PSL quickly. I told myself I also needed to push hard to get a bigger contract and a call-up to the national team.
“I think my move to the PSL was long overdue. I played in the NFD for such a long time. I was on loan at the clubs that I played for during the years because I was still a Pirates player.
“Teams struggled to sign me because they did not have access to me. Everything had to go via Pirates and everything that I was involved in, Pirates had to approve.”
He said that had affected his growth as a player and there had been moments where he felt like quitting soccer.
For the full story read Weekend Post, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.