Wednesday morning saw the end of a decade-long relationship between Kaizer Chiefs and Lorenzo Gordinho, as he has moved to Bidvest Wits.
The defender joined the Glamour Boys as a 15-year-old. Gordinho said his goodbyes to his teammates and cleared out his belongings from the club’s training ground at the Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena Johannesburg, as he drove off to his new venture.
Kaizerchiefs.com caught up with him as he was exiting the gates at the Village and was standing on the roadside talking to some friends.
He reflects on his start at the club, “I still very clearly remember the day I joined the club. I trained with the Under-17 side, coached by Doctor Khumalo, Ryder Mofokeng and Terror Sephooa”.
Gordinho was promoted to the first team in February 2013, making his official first team debut a year later in February 2014. It was in an Absa Premiership game against Maritzburg United on 11 February 2014. The defender was just 19-year-old at the time he was given his official debut by Stuart Baxter.
He remembers his debut well, “coach Stuart came to me and said that I will be playing at right-back. I was a bit nervous. The team were on a nine-game winning streak going into that game. I gave away a penalty in the 35th minute, bringing down Kurt Lentjies. Fortunately, we came back to draw the game. Even though I conceded a penalty, coach Stuart told me at half-time that I have his faith and trust – I should finish the game off and I will come back stronger because of what happened”.
During his time at Chiefs, Gordinho featured in 71 games in all competitions for Chiefs, scoring seven goals.
Reflecting on his highlights during his time at the club, he says: “There are so many, like playing in my first Soweto Derby and the 2015 Telkom Knockout Cup final. Winning matches, seeing the support you receive all over the country because of the brand, as well as all the friendships I made at the club with the coaches, the players and the Motaung family – I have so many memories at the club. Its hard to describe ten years in a few-minutes interview”.
Now that he has left Amakhosi, Gordinho feels it will be a bit surreal to face the Glamour Boys soon with his new side, Bidvest Wits.
He says: “It is part of the game. When I had a loan spell at Bloemfontein Celtic and I played against Chiefs, it felt a bit weird. It’s something you go through as a footballer. It was a move I had to make for my career”.
Lorenzo Gordinho’s Chiefs fact file
- Date of Birth: 26 April 1994
- Appearances: 71
- Goals: 7
- February 2013. Starts training with Chiefs’ first team.
- 11 February 2014. Makes his official debut for Chiefs in an Absa Premiership game against Maritzburg United.
- Although he does not feature as part of the Chiefs squad, he receives medals for the club winning the 2012-13 Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup.
- Wins the MTN8 and League Title with Chiefs in the 2014-15 season.
- Scores his first league goal for Chiefs in a 2-1 league win at home on 19 December 2015, scoring the winner in the 72nd
- Has his best season with Chiefs in 2016-17, featuring in 25 league games and scoring four goals.
- After a stellar season in 2016-17 he makes his international debut for South Africa in a friendly international against Zambia on the 13 June 2017.
- Had a loan spell at Bloemfontein Celtic spending the second half of the 2017-18 season in the Free State and the first half of the 2018-19 season there before returning to Chiefs in January 2019.
- Featured in five league games in the 2019-20 season, his final appearance for the club coming in a 2-0 away league triumph against Chippa United on 6 November 2019.