The No. 10 jersey at Chippa has only been worn by one player, Andile Mbenyane who also happens to be the longest serving player at the Eastern Cape based side.
“It means a lot for me,” said Shongwe. “This jersey has only been worn by one player at this club and he was captain and the side’s longest serving player having been with them when the team was formed. I am humbled that they gave me this jersey.
“It shows that they appreciate me and it feels like I am a big player already. Now I have to work hard and repay that faith and show it was not a mistake,” he added.
He lauded Mbenyane for allowing him to take the jersey considered to be reserved for team’s star player in football.
“Andile is a great professional. When he was told that he would not be donning the No.10 and it would be given to me instead, he was okay with it and there were no hard feelings. He is guiding me as I am new in the team,” he said.
Shongwe played his first game at Chippa at the weekend when they lost on penalties to Free State Stars in the Maize Cup semi finals at James Motlstasi Stadium in Orkney.
Shongwe was set to sign for Maritzburg United but a call from coach Dan Malesela made him change his mind and reunite with the man who coached him in the Mamelodi Sundowns youth structures.
“I want to resuscitate my career because I feel it has stalled a little over the past few years. I needed to be at a place where I have someone who understands and believes in me,” he said.