The 27-year-old striker has battled to even make the bench in his two-year stay at Pirates since joining them from Golden Arrows in 2013.
But he has been a revelation in continental football, scoring half of the goals as the Buccaneers smashed Guinea’s AS Kaloum with to win 6-1 on aggregate and reach the Confederation Cup group stages.
Two of those goals came at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday, where Gabuza was given a standing ovation after his brace helped the Soweto outfit win 4-1 and advance to the group stage.
“I have never doubted myself,” Gabuza said. “I have always felt like a member of the team since they signed me from Golden Arrows. I believed that I was among the best players here at Pirates as the team is made up by a number of them. I just had to wait for my chance. Now that I have it, I am making the most of it. Everyone at Pirates from the players to the securities and the technical team has been supportive.”
That technical team, led by coach Eric Tinkler, will now look to see which five players they will add into their Confederation Cup squad before the last eight starts later this month against a familiar foe in Congo’s AC Leopards.