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Mngomeni – We Were Like Family There At Bushbucks

Former Umtata Bushbucks and Orlando Pirates star Thabo Mngomeni says the Eastern Cape has still not recovered from the loss of Imbabala.

The former Bafana Bafana star spent four years at the now-defunct PSL club, before joining Pirates, and it is where he became a household name in South African football.

While the Eastern Cape does have a professional club in Chippa United, Mngomeni, who is setting up his foundation in the Chris Hani region, says that Chippa hasn’t yet made in-roads across the province, and he feels the club only has support in Gqeberha.

Speaking exclusively to iDiski Times, the 52-year-old says while there are small clubs trying to emulate Bushbucks, it’s Mngomeni’s view that they are going about it the wrong manner.

“Most definitely, for PE only,” Mngomeni tells iDiski Times.

“One thing, people from the Eastern Cape, especially the ones from former Transkei region, they felt like they were thrown away. It’s like their hopes now for playing football or whatever, those things have been taken away from them.

“So it really broke their hearts and now there are people that are trying to immitate Bushbucks. And they’re all doing the wrong stuff on how to get there in the PSL.”

Playing for Bushbucks was a period in Mngomeni’s life he will never forget, and he says it was the best time of his professional career.

“Hey, Rob, most definitely Bushbucks, because I think that is where I’ve played my best football or whatever,” he said.

“I think that is where I felt team spirit and all those things.

“We were like family there at Bushbucks. I’m not saying there by Pirates, we were not like family but at Bushbucks it was like I’m at home.”

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.