Phumlani misses dad

FILE PICTURE: Daine Klate and Phumlani Ntshangase during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium on April 30, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Phumlani Ntshangase would give anything to have his late father part of the 54 000 people who will pack the Moses Mabhida Stadium for the final of the Nedbank Cup this afternoon at 3pm between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates.

Instead he will have his family, his former team-mates from his local club in Umlazi and some of his coaches at junior level watching him in the first cup final of his professional career.

That career started in February this year with Wits when he was handed his debut, also in front of his home crowd, in Kwa-Mashu against AmaZulu.

It could have started earlier had it not been for Ntshangase senior who refused permission for the 12-year-old Phumlani to join the Clever Boys when they came looking for his son.

But his father supported him whenever he played in Durban.

“It was a very difficult situation to accept when my father passed away, especially for me as a young boy because I am the only boy in the family,” Ntshangase said.

“Even though he didn’t want me to come to Johannesburg, he was always there when I played in Durban. It was tough after he passed away.”

His mother gave her blessing for him to join the Clever Boys’ academy in 2011. In the three years there, it has come to a point where he is keeping experienced campaigners like Tinashe Nengomasha and Matthew Pattison out of the first team.

That has amused the 19-year-old, especially since he grew up cheering for Nengomasha, as a Kaizer Chiefs fan, a club he supported because his father supported them.

“I am surprised, not just by that, but by the fact that I am playing regularly,” Ntshangase said. “We have international players who are sitting on the bench because of me, and other young players like Kwanda Mngonyama and Tebogo Moerane. We are doing a very good job.”

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