Orlando Pirates confirm the release of Thabo Matlaba

Thabo ‘Festival’ Matlaba has sent a message to Orlando Pirates as he leaves the club after seven–and-a-half years of service.

Matlaba’s departure was confirmed by Pirates earlier today (Friday), with the club stating that the defender refused to take a pay cut.

In leaving the Soweto giants, Matlaba has sent the club a message as posted on the club’s official website.

I know some people were asking ‘who is Thabo Matlaba’ and maybe some people undermined my capabilities after coming from a small team like Free State Stars. So playing like I did against Maritzburg also gave me opportunity to prove that I can play for a big team like Pirates,” said the defender in reference to Bucs’ 1-0 win over Maritzburg United in his debut match.

The Buccaneers added, “From that match, Festival, as he is affectionately known, went on to establish himself as a regular feature at left back. Pirates went on to secure the treble that year with Thabo playing alongside the likes of Benni McCarthy, Lucky Lekgwathi and Siyabonga Sangweni.

“Thabo went on to even captain the Mighty Buccaneers as well as play in both the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup finals; and also lift more silverware in the form of the Nedbank Cup in 2014.

There are no words to fully express the gratitude towards Thabo’s contribution at the Club and even though he has featured less on the field in recent seasons, he remained a positive and influential member of the squad.

“Thank you for the wonderful memories Festival!”

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