Kekana wants to play until he reaches 39 years

Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Hlompho Kekana does not plan to hang up his boots anytime soon as he feels his legs can still carry him for few more seasons.

More often than not, when footballers reaches the age of 30 – otherwise referred to as the wrong side of the calendar – they lose their pace, their sharpness and are more likely to be deemed surplus to requirements and end up being reduced to spectators on the bench.

Mamelodi Sundowns captain is one such player. But don’t get it twisted, the Brazilians skipper is in fine shape and is still very much an integral part of Pitso Mosimane’s team as the leader on the pitch.

Be that as it may, at the age of 32, Kekana may now be approaching the twilight of his career. After about a decade in the limelight as he started off his top flight career with Black Leopards, and moved on to SuperSport United where he won two league titles before he was loaned to Bloemfontein Celtic in 2010, Kekana feels he can add more than five years to his glittery career.

“I am 32 years old this year, so I see myself playing until 39 years. I feel good and fresh. I will look and see how far my legs can take me but at the moment I can’t predict anything, I just have to enjoy the moment,” he said.

It is at his current home of Chloorkop where he has reached his full potential where he went on to win two league titles, the Telkom Knockout and the Nedbank Cup. As a cherry on top, the Zebediela-born midfielder led Downs to African grandest prize in club football – the 2016 Caf Champions League. Kekana is in pole position to win his fifth Premiership title with Downs as they are favorites to clinch the 2017/18 title.

“It is special for me to win silverware because it has been a dream for me since I was young. Every time I win a trophy, it has meaning but the feeling is always the same and special. I always look forward to archive it again,” said Kekana.

In recent games, the 32-year-old has seen little action as Mosimane kept him on the bench and later revealed that he was “resting” him. He did, nonetheless, start in the Tshwane derby against SuperSport United. He has since admitted that is not accustomed to watching the game from the bench or up in the stands.

“I am not used to it, but I love seeing my team win. I’ve been a team player all my career and I want to see myself playing on the pitch, on the green grass, that’s where I love seeing myself. It gives me joy to see my team play and it gives me joy to see myself part of the team,” he explained.

Kekana continued: “I’ve managed to grow as player and understand that the team is more important than me as player. Whatever the team needs, I am a captain of the team and as a captain you need to sacrifice yourself more than anybody in the team. I have to support whoever plays.

“As a player, if you ask me about the next match, I want to play and take part in every match that Sundowns takes part in. I am one player who doesn’t like to sit people play, especially when I am fit.”

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