Ntshumayelo hangs up his boots after tough times

Former SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates midfield workhorse Thandani Ntshumayelo announced his retirement from football on Thursday morning. He is only 33 years old.

The Free State-born player has been struggling to get a club after he was released by Swallows FC last season. Ntshumayelo, who was touted to become one of the best players in SA never fulfilled his potential and he has had to end his career prematurely while his peers are at the peak.

His career was dealt a major blow when in 2015, he tested positive for banned substance, cocaine. He was slapped with a four-year ban from football by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport and that was the beginning of the end for the talented player.

His ban was reduced in half, and he tried to launch a comeback but he was never the same player that he was previously. Baroka FC gave him an opportunity, but he had past his best. Swallows FC also gave him a season to impress but they have had to release him as he was no longer the same swashbuckling player, he was at the Buccaneers a few years earlier.

Ntshumayelo said in a statement: “After careful consideration and lengthy consultation with my family, I’ve decided to officially announce my retirement from football with immediate effect. It’s a decision I didn’t take lightly because football has been a part of my entire life. I feel privileged to have realised the dream of being a professional footballer to my SuperSport United family who gave me a break to turn pro at the age of 18 years old, I will forever be grateful for everything you have done for me. I want to thank SuperSport CEO Stan Matthews, academy coach Godfrey Mosoetsa, Kwanele Kopo, coach Gavin Hunt who has become a father figure to me even in difficult times.

“It was also an honour to represent one of the biggest clubs in Africa, Orlando Pirates. It is for this reason that I want to express my gratitude to chairman Dr Irvin Khoza for giving me the opportunity to represent this big institution. I will forever cherish every I got to wear the Orlando Pirates jersey and fight for the badge,” reads part of the statement.

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