Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates challenged by Edmilson Dove of Cape Town City during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto on 19 September 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jul 17, 2019. 13:00
Thabo Matlaba says his decision to leave Orlando Pirates for Black Leopards was motivated by the prospect of regular playing time rather than financial incentives.
Matlaba saw little first-team action for the Buccaneers in the 2018/19 season. He was offered a new contract at the club, but on reduced terms.
Instead, the veteran fullback turned Pirates down and signed a two-year deal with Leopards. At the time, Bucs president Irvin Khoza hinted that the player had chosen to move for financial reasons.
However, Matlaba has now told Kick-Off that money was not a motivating factor in signing for Lidoda Duvha.
"Unfortunately I had to part ways with the team, but he [Khoza] wanted me to stay, to be honest,” said the 31-year-old.
"But I could not stay, I wanted to play. It's not about money or anything like, I wanted to play football.
"I had been speaking to the Leopards officials for a while. I spoke to them before I was released at Pirates. I was in contact with them until I finalised my things with Pirates.
"In fact, I had decided that I was joining Leopards. I decided that if things don't go my way at Pirates I will go to Leopards, regardless of who is interested in me."