In an exclusive interview with Goal, Modise voiced his backing for Shabba after the latter’s unexpected switch to Erzumsumspor from Amakhosi
They say old is gold. This was the case when a Turkish Super Lig side recently shocked the South African football fraternity with the signing of veteran winger Siphiwe Tshabalala from Kaizer Chiefs.
Many were not shocked by Shabba’s switch to the Turkish top-flight, but more so by the left-footed player’s age. Tshabalala turns 34 next week.
But even for entry level jobs, company seek experienced campaigners. It seems it’s the same even in football as certain managers often value experience over talented youth.
Such was the case when Super Lig newcomers Erzurumspor, who were promoted from the TFF First League via the play-offs, signed the former Bafana Bafana international on a two-year deal with an option to renew for a further year, much to the excitement of long time football friend Teko Modise.
“I was really, really excited for Shabba when I heard the news,” Modise told Goal.
“It was unbelievable, but Shabba has been a fantastic professional over the years and also a loyal servant of the game and I guess this was football’s way of giving back to him, but really, I am over the moon for him,” said Modise.
Teko and Shabba have never hidden their admiration for each other over the years alongside Moeneeb Josephs, Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
They were among the elite golden group of Bafana’s 2010 World Cup stars who are yet to show any signs of waning in local football circles, despite their age.
Modise, 35, who’s still Cape Town City’s midfield kingpin, also said that he’s confident that Shabba’s move would end the perception that footballers over the age of 30 don’t perform.
“I am confident that this move would end the perception [that footballers over the age of 30 are finished],” he added.
“I know that he can’t come back in three months’ time. So, he’s got to perform and this move will hopefully open the doors for more of our local footballers to the Turkish top flight,” said Modise.
With the move, Tshabalala, who is South Africa’s second most capped player with 89 caps, ended an 11-and-a-half year union with Amakhosi.
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