Kaizer Chiefs budding youngster Mduduzi Shabalala says he’s grateful to the club for giving him a “challenge” after he snubbed a rival club he supported growing up, Orlando Pirates.

Shabalala’s rise at Chiefs has been meteoric, as he spent little time in the development structures before he was quickly promoted to the first team at the beginning of the season.

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The teenage forward is already holding a position in Arthur Zwane’s regular line-up and scored his second goal for the senior team in Amakhosi’s 3-2 loss to Golden Arrows.

Ahead of the Soweto Derby over the weekend, Shabalala revealed that he grew up supporting Pirates.

“I was supporting Orlando Pirates, everyone at home is supporting Orlando Pirates but now since I’ve joined Kaizer Chiefs I had to change and support Kaizer Chiefs and I will die as a Kaizer fan,” Shabalala told journalists at a press conference held ahead of the game.

The 19-year old went on to also reveal that he has since influenced other members of his family to support Chiefs but his father does not want to change allegiance.

“Old lady, sisters and kids but (father), he refuses, even now he says (Pirates) will beat (Chiefs), I don’t understand,” he said.

Shabalala also detailed his journey coming up as a youngster and revealed that he actually went to trials at Pirates but felt that he needed a better challenge, which he got at Chiefs.

“Coach Sfiso played a big role in my life, he’s the one who took me to Kaizer Chiefs. Firstly we started to trial at Orlando Pirates but it didn’t work out, I told him that it’s easy there at Pirates, I want to go to Kaizer Chiefs,” he explained.

“At Kaizer Chiefs they made it difficult for me, I trialed for about three to four months in a trial and I told him that’s what I want in football. I want a challenge and it happened that I got the challenge and I was promoted to the reserve team.

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“I only played three games in the GDL (Gauteng Development League) with the under-17, then I went to the national team with the U-17 and I won the Player of the Tournament, I got myself a trip to Spain,” he said.

“And after that I came back and played for the reserve team and I only played for one season in the reserve team, I didn’t finish the season because I played about ten or 14 games, after that I got promoted (to the senior team),” he added.


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