Over the years, Chiskop goalkeepers have graced the football field, both locally and internationally. Although we’ve seen Chiskop greats like Fabian Barthez and Pepe Reina, locally, we have selected our very own Chiskop between the poles.
Highlands Park shot-stopper, Thela Ngobeni, can hold his own against the world’s best, and here’s why?
Graduating from Kaizer Chiefs
As a Kaizer Chiefs academy graduate, Ngobeni was focused on and off the field, however, his first team Amakhosi debut against SuperSport United during the 2009/10 season, would be one to forget. His first appearance ended as he suffered a horrific jaw injury and with Itumeleng Khune replacing him, it was always going to be hard getting regular game-time.
Moving To Mamelodi
In 2012, Ngobeni joined Pitso Mosimane’s Mamelodi Sundowns.
At Masandawana, his Chiskop didn’t shine as it should have, making two appearances in six seasons with the Pretoria-based club. Despite winning the ABSA Premiership and the CAF Champions League at Chloorkop, the 1.77m tall Chiskop went to Free State Stars on loan, where he played more regularly.
Standing Out At Free State Stars
Spending two seasons at the club, Ngobeni made 35 appearances in total, keeping nine clean sheets and being one the team’s standout players, as they won the Nedbank Cup, despite suffering relegation by the end of the 2018/19 season.
By August 2019, the 30-year-old Chiskop had only made a total of 38 professional appearances. The tough shot-stopper didn’t give up though, and when he returned to Mamelodi Sundowns, Owen da Gama’s Highlands Park came calling and Ngobeni hasn’t looked back since.
Hitting The Heights At Highlands Park!
As an ever-present, the Chiskop has performed brilliantly, at the Lions of the North.
Playing a vital role in helping his current employers reach their first-ever MTN8 final, he kept three clean sheets, one against an offensive Orlando Pirates side and two against a difficult Polokwane City outfit in both semi-final legs.
And it’s for this reason that Thela Ngobeni deserves the number one jersey in our Chiskop XI!