Prodigal girl of Alex football leaves the wilderness for the Birds’ nest

Zingawe Phakathi struggled to convert the many chances that landed her way, during their match against Soweto Fabulous Ladies, two weeks back.

Zingawe Phakathi, one of the most talented women footballers to emerge from Alexandra, has returned to the nest of the ‘Beautiful Birds’

after more than a year in the wilderness.

Dubbed the prodigal girl of Alex football, Phakathi made a U-turn to ditch her self-imposed exile after a serious talking to by Bluebirds

Read: Bluebirds Ladies have a new gem in their nest

coach, Malvin Khumalo who went out of his way to convince her to return so she could resuscitate her ailing career.

Phakathi had wanted out of the birds’ nest when she demanded to be given her clearance in August of 2015. The club granted her her wish but she took too long to collect her clearance from the offices.

When she failed to collect the clearance by February of 2016, Khumalo was eager to open a new chapter with the lethal striker but all was in vain as she was reportedly training with JVW Ladies of Banyana Banyana skipper, Janine van Wyk.

That did not pick up either as this reporter met Van Wyk at the Gauteng Sports Awards last year and made enquiries about Phakathi, to which the Banyana skipper said she was unaware of the whereabouts of the player.

Read: Football Flava off to Russia to represent SA in world finals

On the news of her reported intention to join JVW, Khumalo welcomed it but said his door was still open should she find the going tough and wants to make a U-turn.

In an exclusive interview with Alex News, Phakathi said she had held discussions with the coach and they agreed that she could return to the team and embark on a fitness regime that will enable her to gain her form.

During her year-long absence, Phakathi said she did not have the opportunity to go to the gym as the job she was involved in was quite demanding and she said, “I am now back at the gym and sweating it out to regain my fitness.”

On whether her return could also lead to a possible spot in Banyana Banyana, the former women’s national team striker said her focus now was getting her fitness back and concentrating on the job at hand, which was playing for the Birds.

Read: Women’s football comes alive in Alex

“Anything else will come as a bonus, depending on my performance on the field. I am focusing on playing for the Bluebirds and anything else will come as a cherry on top. My previous run-ins with the club are all water under the bridge and I would like to let sleeping dogs lie,” she said.

Phakathi missed a good number of scoring opportunities in her first game, which was a home tie on 6 May against Soweto Fabulous Ladies, though the Beautiful Birds won 2–0.

What do you think the return of prolific striker Zingawe Phakathi will do for the Birds? WhatsApp on 079 439 5345 to share your views.


Sipho Siso

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