Sunday Feb 28, 2021. 10:00
Mamelodi Sundowns star Themba Zwane insists that he has not given up on his dream of playing overseas.
The 31-year-old midfielder is the reigning Player of the Season in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League and his talent is worthy of a grander stage.
Zwane has been on Sundowns’ books since 2011, but he has instructed his agent to try and secure him a transfer abroad – perhaps as early as the end of the 2020-21 season in a few months.
The Brazilians attacking midfielder believes he still has room for improvement despite his outstanding consistency in recent seasons.
“I was watching my games of last season, trying to be honest with myself and saying, ‘I did well, I have won this and this. But deep inside, if I am honest, I can take it up,’” Zwane told New Frame.
“A move overseas is something I have discussed with my agent. I said, ‘Just try and get a team. And if someone wants me, I will talk to Sundowns and go there.
“As long as I’m here, I will push myself. I won’t give up on that dream. And if something doesn’t come up, I will still push myself and try to help Sundowns and help the national team until I retire.”
Zwane has seen former teammates at Sundowns, such as Keagan Dolly and Percy Tau, secure moves to Europe, while he also explained how a loan spell at Mpumalanga Black Aces [now Cape Town City] helped to transform his career.
“Fortunately, I had teammates who wanted to win. I really enjoyed myself at Aces. Before I left, [manager] Clive [Barker] told me that Aces wanted to buy me. He refused it. He said, ‘You don’t deserve to be here. I want you to go to Sundowns and fight for your place,’” said Zwane.
“That’s when coach Pitso [Mosimane] called me back. He said, ‘You can see the players we have got here, but it’s up to you to raise your hand and say, ‘Coach, put me in, I want to do the job.’
“I started full of confidence. I was making things happen and motivated by the competition I found with a lot of quality players: Khama Billiat, Percy Tau, Keagan Dolly. I was doing a lot extra. And whenever they gave me a chance, I was making use of it.”
Zwane will hope to help Sundowns to a second group stage win in the CAF Champions League when they face CR Belouizdad in a re-arranged clash in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this afternoon.