At some point it appeared as though Sipho Mbule’s career would turn out like those of Mbulelo ‘Old John’ Mabizela, Jabu Mahlangu and the like, who never really got to reach their full potential because of off-the-field antics.
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Mbule was once suspended at his former club SuperSport United for disrespecting his teammates and technical team, and Phakaaathi has it on good authority that in some instances when he was left out of the team, it was because of bad behaviour.
He is now at Chloorkop after joining Mamelodi Sundowns and he is looking to revive his career. His coach, Rhulani Mokwena says Mbule is a work in progress and is certain that he and his co-head coach, Manqoba Mngqithi together with senior coach Steve Komphela will be able to get the best out of the 24-year-old.
“We are prepared (to help him) and we believe in him. We will give him all the support that he needs to be able to make this move work. We are optimistic and confident that this is the right move,” said Mokwena.
“We are happy that he chose to come back to us and hopefully we can channel his career back on track and moreover, make him a better human being. We have already outlined the plans that we have for him. There is a lot of work to help him reach his full potential,” he added.
Mbule is largely viewed as Sibusiso Vilakazi’s replacement, after he left the club to join TS Galaxy and Mokwena describes Mbule as an “upgrade” regarding Sundowns’ demands in midfield.
“We all know the qualities that he has, he is a top football player and he wouldn’t get to this level if he did not have the qualities. He has represented Bafana Bafana and he was a junior international. We know what he can do and we are looking forward to him settling in the team. He provides good competition and gives qualities that we felt we lacked in the midfield,” Mokwena said.
He added: “He is a young football player with extreme experience at youth level in the national team and he has huge experience with SuperSport United in the Caf Confederation Cup. His age and the talent that he has gives us huge possibilities.
“The fact that he became available in the market propelled us to have a closer look at that. He is already an upgrade from a profile point of view. He has the ability to create chances and he brings in about two chances a game. He averages a good number of shots per 90 minutes and those are the qualities we felt we needed.”