Very shy and soft spoken, Patrick “Ace” Mbuthu expresses himself better through his feet on the field. He has been through an experience, which could have ruined his football career, but Ace is now back to his best and optimistically looking forward to the future.
Each time you touch the ball the stadium roars “Aaaaaaaace”. How does it make you feel?
A great feeling. It makes me want to hold on to the ball for a while longer and keep the supporters singing. But as you know, the game has evolved so much and we play by the rules. We have to play as a unit and that’s the reason we have to keep the ball rolling. It’s team sport and it has to be played just like that.
Any pressure in sharing a nickname with greats like Pule Ntsoelengoe and Ace Khuse?
More of a challenge. But yes, there is a lot of pressure “Bra Ace” was a hero to many people and a lot of aspiring youngsters. He is a legend and he also inspired the team a lot. Then there was Ace Khuse and he was also a great player. Frankly I don’t think I am at that stage yet but as I said, it’s a huge challenge and with time I hope to be like him one day.
You are back to your normal game. How did you make it after the Sydney nightmare?
Not very easy. I even thought quitting was the only solution. But I guess I was just angry and disappointed. On the positive side the whole experience gave me a new outlook and different approach in life and more importantly to the game of football.
Read more in the April issue of Amakhosi. . .