At the age of 34, many a footballer has the word “retirement” at the top of their minds but this is not the case with Mamelodi Sundowns strongman Hlompo Kekana. In fact, the Brazilians captain still has a burning desire to win more silverware with the Chloorkop based club. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
At the age of 34, many a footballer has the word “retirement” at the top of their minds but this is not the case with Mamelodi Sundowns strongman Hlompo Kekana. In fact, the Brazilians captain still has a burning desire to win more silverware with the Chloorkop based club. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Kekana: I’m not the retiring type

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Mar 22, 2020

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At the age of 34, many a footballer has the word “retirement” at the top of their minds but this is not the case with Mamelodi Sundowns strongman Hlompo Kekana. In fact, the Brazilians captain still has a burning desire to win more silverware with the Chloorkop based club.

Kekana joined Sundowns back in 2011 and has enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with the club. He boasts four league titles, two Telkom Knockout crowns, a Nedbank Cup triumph, Caf Champions League honours and a Caf Super Cup crown.

With so many medals in his display cabinet one would imagine the tough tackling midfielder has seen it all, but he confesses to having a strong desire to indulge a bit more and set up records with the Premier Soccer League champions.

“To be honest if you’ve tasted that amount of success that we’ve enjoyed at Sundowns, you want more. So, there’s that drive from us to look for more,” Kekana explained in an interview with Independent Media.

Sundowns have become a dominant force in South African football ever since Pitso Mosimane took over the coaching reins back in 2012. They are now a force to be reckoned with on the continent as they threaten to unseat their north African counterparts from Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco from dominating African club competitions.

This season Sundowns are on course for a domestic treble. They have already won the Telkom Knockout crown, and they are very much in contention in the Nedbank Cup, having reached the semi-finals of the competition. And Mosimane’s men are four points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs with one game in hand.

With Chiefs blowing hot and cold recently, Sundowns have a good chance of repeating last season’s feat when they launched an eleventh hour chase to spoil what looked like an Orlando Pirates league title.

Sundowns have been winning trophies left, right and centre in the past seven years but the treble has eluded them. The last team to achieve a coveted treble was Orlando Pirates in 2010/11. They won a double in 2014/15.

“It is a plan to always try and win every match and the trophies which we compete for. We always want to improve as a team and do the undo-able. We want to continue to win trophies. I remember when we first won the Champions League, we never had the belief that we will win it. So I still believe that as a team we have what it takes to win trophies,” he added.

Kekana is still going strong in what is seen as a footballer's “twilight years”. The Sundowns skipper recently renewed his contract by signing up for three more seasons at the club. He has become a pillar of strength for the Brazilians. Under his leadership, Sundowns have flourished. And he has led by example.

“I renewed my contract because I know we are a team of winners," Kekana says, "Everyone is willing to go the extra mile to win trophies.

@Minenhlecr7 


Sunday Tribune

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