Ex-Bafana star 'Bhele' Nomvethe: ‘I want to continue playing until at least 45’

23 October 2020 - 10:57 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Siyabonga Nomvethe of Uthongathi Football Club plans to keep going on the field despite his age.
Siyabonga Nomvethe of Uthongathi Football Club plans to keep going on the field despite his age.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Former Bafana Bafana striker Siyabonga “Bhele” Nomvethe is not planning to hang up his boots yet, despite the fact that he is approaching the age of 43.

Nomvethe‚ who has played for Orlando Pirates‚ Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows and AmaZulu during his successful career‚ insists his body can still carry him for another season.

Nomvethe has also played for European clubs Salernitana‚ Udinese and Empoli in Italy‚ Aalborg BK in Norway and Djurgarden in Sweden during his overseas spell that lasted for about five years.

Former #BafanaBafana striker Siyabonga "Bhele" Nomvethe on: * his future, * what to expect in the #DStvPrem this season, * Pitso Mosimane moving #AlAhly in Flag of Egypt , * AmaZulu under new management, * coaching movements in the #DStvPrem

“My body is fine. Mentally I am prepared and physically I am fit‚” proclaimed the 42-year-old who turned out for Uthongathi FC in the GladAfrica Championship (First Division) last season.

“I think the team [Uthongathi FC] still needs my services even though I have been out to do the 200km Challenge in the BrightRock Battle of the Sports. I am back to training now and the players and coach want my services so I can help the team.

“This is a gift I have been given and I don’t just want to just throw it away like that. I want to continue playing until I reach at least 45 years because I believe in myself .

“Nothing has changed - I am still quick‚ I am still dribbling and I am still beating the younger players.”

Nomvethe congratulated former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane on his new job at Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

“It is amazing to see a local coach getting a big job like that in Egypt with one of the biggest clubs on the continent. It is not usual to see a coach from SA going to coach in another country. This is a big stage and a good opportunity.

“He has done so many good things in this country and he has won so many league titles and cup competitions - and he deserves it. If you watch Sundowns‚ I am not sure how many times they have been playing in the Champions League and he has helped them to win the trophy.”

He also expressed hope that the fortunes of his former club AmaZulu will change for the better after it was bought by businessman Sandile Zungu‚ who has unveiled ambitious plans.

“With the new management I think everything will change for the team. There is a new person who owns the club and I think the players‚ technical staff and management will organise themselves very well to prepare for this coming season.

“The chairman has said  he is expecting the club to be in the top four, and I believe the boys will do everything needed not to disappoint the supporters and challenge for something in the league.”

Some of the oldest players to have played in the PSL:

  • Andre Arendse (ended at Bidvest Wits - 45 years‚ 10 months and 4 days).
  • John “Shoes” Moshoeu (ended AmaZulu – 42).
  • Moeneeb "Slim Kat"Josephs (still a player-goalkeeper-coach at AmaZulu – 40).
  • Jabulani Maluleke (still at Polokwane City – 38).
  • Reneilwe "Yeye" Letsholonyane (still at TS Galaxy – 38).

Some of the oldest players in world football history:

  • Kazuyoshi Miura (still playing as a forward for Yokohama FC in the J1 League at the age of 53)
  • Stanley Matthews (former England midfielder retired at 50).
  • Essam El-Hadary (Egyptian goalkeeper retired at 47).
  • John Burridge (English goalkeeper retired at 46).
  • Andrea Pierobon (Italian goalkeeper retired at 46).