TS Sporting chairman Slungu Thobela has sent out a message of appreciation to the people who rallied behind the relegated GladAfrica Championship club throughout their stay in the professional football setup.

Sporting’s relegation to the ABC Motsepe League was confirmed on Sunday following their 2-1 defeat by promotion chasers Richards Bay at Kabokweni.

The result meant ‘Abantu Bemtheto’ joined Jomo Cosmos as one of the two clubs who got demoted to the SAFA amateur League with one match remaining.

In a statement sent out on Sunday evening, Thobela said he cherished every moment that he had been at the helm of the team from day one.

“I firstly want to take this opportunity and send my sincere and heartfelt appreciation to our loyal supporters,” read the statement.

“I was deeply touched by the level of support we have received from all of you during our trying and difficult times, especially towards the last few games of the season. I personally cherish every moment I have been at the helm of this team from day one.

“Through this brand, we have established together with you, I as chairman was able to rub shoulders with many respected chairmen, presidents, great football administrators, great coaches and great football players, as well as union leaders,” said Thobela.

“During our short stint in football we brought to Mbombela great football clubs, who have made meaningful contributions, local hotels and other local businesses benefited through this small brand, we have introduced our local boys to professional football and hope they will continue to represent our province going forward,” continued Thobela.

“I want to particularly thank my friend Mr Singwane who I started this brand with, I also want to thank my family for their unconditional support. It was a singular honour for me to welcome the provincial treasurer of the ANC comrade Mandla Msibi at our last home game at Kabokweni Stadium. To our managers, players and technical team as well as support staff, you will always have a special space in my heart. I’m driven by a true feeling of love.”

“To our haters let the party begin.

Love you all.

Slungu Thobela.”

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