Thanda Royal Zulu striker Mhlengi Cele concedes Golden Boot race with Sedwyn George

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Thanda sealed their return to the big show as NFD champions after an eight-year absence with a 2-1 win over Stellenbosch FC at the Umhlathuze Sports Complex on Wednesday.

Cele didn't finish the game due to a muscle problem. However, he can take heart that his 16 goals - four less than NFD top scorer Sedwyn George of Royal Eagles - played a key role in Amabhubesi's success.

"Even now I'm still injured. I had a muscle problem against Milano United, and I had to tie it to ensure we win this game," Cele tells snl24.com/kickoff.

"I had a wish to chase George and that is what I wanted to do, but now the injury that I have I don't think I'll come close to him. But what my main focus was to win the league early.

"Of course I feel hurt that I'm having these injuries, but my ambition was to help the team. George is not leading the charts by mistake, the guy is performing and he's a good guy."