Downs Defender Pays Tribute To Former Coach
Mamelodi Sundowns Defender Has Paid Tribute To Cecil ‘Gigi’ Ntlebi
Mamelodi Sundowns defender, Anele Ngcongca, has paid tribute to his former coach, Cecil ‘Gigi’ Ntlebi.
Read: SA Youth Coach Passes On
Ntlebi passed away on September 22. He worked as a development coach at African Soccer Development Academy in Cape Town, among other clubs, and was with NFD club, Cape Town All Stars at the time of his passing.
Ntlebi nurtured a number of top players during his days, including the Cape Town City duo of Ayanda Patosi and Lyle Lakay.
Ngcongca had nothing but good words for Ntlebi:
“I met that good soul at a young age. I was playing for United Aces and he was the coach of Cape Town Pirates FC from Gugulethu. He approached me and said I should join his team. At the time, those two teams were rivals. They were doing well under him (Ntlebi), but my Kasi (township) was rough at that time and Aces didn’t want me to go and play there.
“The people who loved Aces were threatening me and I was scared to go and join Cape Town Pirates. My late brother told me not to worry and promised to accompany me to training. In the end, I got what I wanted and that was to work with Coach Cecil. That’s how I met ‘Ta Gigi’ and worked under him.
“When he left Cape Town Pirates to work for Hellenic FC, most of us also left the club to try somewhere else. Coach Simba even took me to Hellenic for trials. That’s how good he was. He opened the doors for kids from Kasi.
“I didn’t make it at Hellenic, but I was successful at FC Fortune. I repaid him by buying him a drink to say thanks. He would watch any team that was playing in Kasi.
“The last time we met was in June during the off-season. I was in Gugulethu and he said to me, ‘I don’t want your money, I want a Coca-Cola, meat and your shirt, my boy.’ He said, ‘Please be careful of your surroundings, boy, and stay humble as you are. Keep lifting Gugulethu’s flag high (and) we are proud of you.’ I asked after his family and he said they were fine. I was happy to hear that. From then on, we’d talk on the phone about football and life in general. Condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace, my coach.”
Soccer Laduma sends our heartfelt condolences to the Ntlebi family.