Sthembiso Ngcobo announced his arrival at Chiefs with a superb header against Eleven Arrows in a friendly match in Namibia.
Another one against Mamelodi Sundowns followed in the Charity Cup. His call-up to Bafana Bafana squad for the friendly against Ghana (he has also been called up for the Nations Cup qualifier away in Niger) was not a surprise. In this interview, taking questions from the supporters, “Valdez”, as Ngcobo is known, said to kaizerchiefs.com, “My best is yet to come”.
Where do you come from?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: I come from KwaZulu/Natal in a place called Ndwedwe in the rural areas. Ndwedwe, being a remote area, had a lot of talent that was lost due to it being so far away from town. I come from a place where there is no electricity, no water and life was hard growing up. We played football in any open space…put stones as goal posts. I loved it there and I still love it at home up to this day.
What needs to be done for you to start scoring goals for Chiefs?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: I need to play two or three games in a row for me to get confidence. I have been in and out of the team for now and that is not helping my confidence. I am sure the coach will give me an opportunity as soon as he feels I am ready.
You are one of those up and coming stars and I would like to wish you well in the gold and black jersey. I also believe you have what it takes to be in the line up for Bafana Bafana…
Sthembiso Ngcobo: Thank you for your encouraging words. I will try and push harder at training to bring a smile to the supporters. Here at Chiefs, every game is like a cup final and one needs to be at his best all the time.
On Bafana Bafana, I always knew that if I am here at Chiefs then I stand a good chance of going back into the national team. Having said that there is still a lot of work ahead for me to command a regular place at international level. I need to work harder at training to convince the Technical Staff here at Chiefs and Bafana Bafana that I have what it takes to deliver.
Who is your favourite player at Chiefs?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: There are lots of good players here at Chiefs. The best player for me though is David Mathebula. He is a talented player whom I feel has a lot to contribute here. David is a shoulder above the rest in terms of talent and it won’t be long before he gets back to his best!
What is the difference between Free State Stars and Kaizer Chiefs in terms of professionalism?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: I do not want to make comparisons between the two clubs. Chiefs is one of the biggest Clubs in the country and everything here is professional.
Thank you for flying KZN flag. Life in Johannesburg can be fast for outsiders, but I believe you are focused and your determination will take you far. I also believe come end May you will be a league champ!
Sthembiso Ngcobo: I grew up in a strict family - my dad Bongani (67) and my mother Thembelihle (52) made sure that my three brothers, the twins (girls) & I towed the line. I know that I cannot disappoint my family here…I am here to work!
It is my upbringing that is helping me to cope with the life in Johannesburg. I can go out from time to time but then I cannot mix that with work.
As for the league title, it is my dream to win the league with Chiefs this season and the sooner we return to the winning ways the better!
Which two players at Chiefs do you combine with on the field of play?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: As the team we all click well. I am comfortable playing with any of the players here at Chiefs.
I rate you highly and compare you to the likes of Samora Khulu and Shane McGregor because of your positioning and accurate shots. Is this your best and desirable role?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: Thank you for the compliment! I have heard a lot about Samora Khulu and other great strikers from Durban who made a name for themselves at the Club. I am a striker and it is my best role. However, I am the first to admit that I am not at my best at the present moment. I just need one goal, just one goal and things will change.
You were in the Chiefs squad that played against Pirates in the second leg of the MTN8. What were the coach’s instructions before the match?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: The coach told us to play our normal game like we have been doing since the beginning of the season. If you have watched our games you would have noticed that we attack from the first minute…the coach wanted us to continue with that. He never said we should go out there and defend. It was unfortunate that Pirates came out attacking and things did not work out on the day.
Do you think you will handle pressure at Kaizer Chiefs?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: Pressure is the name of the game and I am sure I have what it takes to handle the pressure here. I need to play regularly and I am busy now trying to convince the coach at training for me to start games.
What is that you need to work on to be able to hit the back of the net often this season?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: I need to work on target shooting and my positioning.
Fuze Mashiya (Sthembiso’s clan name) we met on Sunday at the airport (O.R. Tambo) following our defeat against Orlando Pirates. My plea to you is to score in our next encounter against Pirates on November 13th…
Sthembiso Ngcobo: Sibo, I remember very well meeting you on the day. Thank you for the words of encouragement…you are such a nice guy. You are talking about our league game against Pirates? Well for me the most important is our next game against Platinum Stars on October 16. Thereafter is the next game and then I will start thinking about Pirates (smiling)
Do you guys watch teams like Barcelona? If yes, what stops you running at the defenders and scoring?
Sthembiso Ngcobo: Although I do not follow any of the European clubs I do watch games and admire players like Ibrahamovich (AC Milan) Didi Drogba and Anelka (Chelsea), Benzema (Real Madrid). I watch their movement on and off the ball. I am learning a lot from the guys in Europe and from the guys here at home. It is my wish to take my game to the next level and I have no doubt that I am in a right Club to achieve just that.
Sthembiso Ngcobo and kaizerchiefs.com thank you for sending your questions and words of support.