Orlando Pirates’ new signing Makhehlene Makhaula has admitted to being surprised by his move to the club last month as he was planning to retire at AmaZulu.
Makhaula joined the Buccaneers in the January transfer window period after signing a pre-contract.
What surprised the 33-year-old is the fact that he is nearing the end of his career but promised he would use this move not to disappoint the trust the club had put in him.
“It came as a surprise even to me, even though my agent [Sizwe Ntshangase] always spoke about it,” Makhaula told the media after the Vodacom Soweto derby press conference at Vodaworld in Midrand yesterday.
“I think they [Pirates] phoned him during the night and he told me that I’m going there and I said ‘seriously?’ He said ‘yes’. So I was happy because my family are this side and it is a club that I always wanted to play for.
“It is a dream come true for me. I didn’t sleep that night. I was always watching TV even though the calls were too many and I had to switch off my phone. Many people were happy for me, especially my family, who always supported me. Even the fans of the club have welcomed me very well.”
At 33, the former Free State Stars and Highlands Park midfielder didn’t see himself getting a big contract and looked settled at AmaZulu, where he was captain.
“I was planning to retire at AmaZulu because, when you look at my age, it’s next to retirement, but when Pirates came and when my agent told me about it I couldn’t resist or look back,” he said.
“I had to grab it with both hands because it is every footballer’s dream to play for one of the big teams.”
Just a month after joining them, Makhaula will have a chance to play his first Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm).
“I’m a bit nervous. I have never played in front of more than 90,000 people, but I’m looking forward to it and I’m working hard at training.
“So, it’s going to be up to the coach to select me because I always raise my hand even if he gives me five or 10 minutes, I’m always raising my hand.”
This content was originally published here.