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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Ex-Pirates and SuperSport star Ntshumayelo hangs up his boots

'I started thinking about retirement when we had issues of not getting paid at Swallows,' Ntshumayelo exclusively told Phakaaathi.

Thandani Ntshumayelo has officially called time on his football career aged 33. The former South African international was last on the books of DStv Premiership outfit Swallows FC at the end of the 2021-2022 season.

‘Bibo,’ as he’s known in football circles will be best remembered for his days at SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates where he made a name for himself. He was handed a four-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance in 2016, which was reduced to two years on appeal in 2018.

“I started thinking about retirement when we had issues of not getting paid at Swallows,” Ntshumayelo said on the decision to hang up his boots in an exclusive interview with Phakaaathi.

“It was not an easy decision to make especially after working so hard to get back into football. That situation at Swallows killed everything for me. It has never happened to me before in my career. I don’t miss football and I’m at peace my decision. I’m still keeping fit and I had a few offers. Three clubs from the NFD called me but after thinking about it, I decided it’s time to move on to other things, like finishing writing my book.”

A teen star for Matsatsantsa

Ntshumayelo made his professional debut at Matsatsantsa as an 18-year-old teenager where he won two DStv Premiership titles before a dream move to Orlando Pirates 2012.

“I think my first league title with SuperSport United will always be a big highlight for me because that’s where everything started,” he recalls.

“It’s not easy to win the league unlike other cups and it’s a long season where you fight so it’s more special.”

As he prepares for life after football, the former Baroka FC midfielder says he has moved on from his doping ban, that left him in football wilderness for two years.

“I’ve always said that I’m willing to give advice to young players,” he concludes.

“I’ve grown as a person and I’m proud what I achieved on the field of play and I want to thank all my former clubs for the opportunity to showcase my talent.”

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