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Shonga spills the beans 

By MICHAEL MIYOBA 

GEORGIA based Gagra FC striker Justin Shonga says he was compelled to ask Orlando Pirates to release him after the South African club rejected offers from Spanish clubs that wanted to sign him.

Shonga who went on to score ten goals in 46 games for Pirates said he was also disappointed when the South African giants decided to released his ‘brother’ Augustin Mulenga.

The former High Flying Nkwazi FC striker who joined Pirates after impressing at the 2017 Cosafa Cup with the Chipolopolo said leaving Pirates wasn’t what he wanted.

“It was a sad moment for me to part ways with Pirates because I wanted to stay there. We had offers me and Thembinkosi Lorch we had offers from Spain but the club said we were not for sale and the main thing which made me sad was my brother leaving me there,” Shonga said.

“When I look at Augustine Mulenga I see him as my brother not only football wise. when I saw the release letters for Mulenga that’s when I also made the decision to leave and I went to their offices and told them that I feel like I need to leave, they were refusing so they had to chose a club for me but leaving Pirates wasn’t what I wanted,” he said. 

Shonga who was accused of domestic violence and running away from the police during his time at Pirates however noted that Pirates will always remain his second home as he still communicates with most of the people who made his stay memorable in South Africa.

He denied the allegations of being involved in domestic violence and running away from the police while he was playing for Pirates.

After his one season stay at Pirates Shonga went on to play for Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and Cape Town City before returning to Nkwazi. 

He said former Chipolopolo midfielder Isaac Chansa and South African based Chipolopolo goal keeper Kennedy Mweene inspired him to succeed in his shot stint at Pirates.

Shonga said he struggled to adapt at first because his team mates were not passing the ball to him but with time they started to love him and gave him the support to succeed.

Shonga who was accused to have signed with Sundowns before going to Pirates also explained how Mamelodi Sundowns missed out on a chance to sign him after declaring interest first before Pirates.

“I never signed with Sundowns because they wanted to sign me on a pre-contract but the police said no. The Police wanted me to move on a permanent move then Sundowns said I could be at Nkwazi for six months then when the time is right I can go to SA then that’s when Pirates came and Signed me,” he said.

Shonga also disclosed that Zambian players always chose to go and play in South Africa because of the good facilities and the huge moneys offered by clubs in South Africa.

Now playing his football in Georgia, Shonga said he is determined to redeem his football career to return to the Chipolopolo after over two years of not being considered for national team duty.

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