Lebogang Manyama celebrates after scoring against Kaizer Chiefs last season. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Lebogang Manyama celebrates after scoring against Kaizer Chiefs last season. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Lebogang Manyama clutches his Absa Premiership Top Goal Scorer, Footballer of the Season and Player's Player of the Season awards trophies. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Lebogang Manyama clutches his Absa Premiership Top Goal Scorer, Footballer of the Season and Player's Player of the Season awards trophies. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - Form, ability, excellence, consistency and patience all came together to create the platform for Lebogang Manyama’s transfer from Cape Town City to Konyaspor in Turkey. Without doubt, the best footballer on show in the PSL over the last 12 months, the 26-year-old from Tembisa certainly deserves a shot on the European stage.

While Konyaspor may, in comparison, not be that high-profile a club, the opportunity provides Manyama with a chance to place himself in the shop window for something better down the line. It’s all up to him: maintain the form he produced for City last season and bigger clubs will come knocking on the door. Manyama’s overseas opportunity probably mirrors a few of his predecessors - like Thulani Serero, Nasief Morris and Mbulelo Mabizela, to name a few - in that, at the time they moved, they were, arguably, the best in the PSL.

Manyama’s move to Turkey was finalised on Thursday with regards to contractual and documentation obligations - but, as with the Rivaldo Coetzee fiasco, the deal is subject to the player completing a medical examination, which is scheduled for 6/7 September in Turkey. Manyama will then be back from Bafana Bafana duty.

City boss John Comitis emphasised that the transfer is another indication the Mother City PSL club is on the right track. After a stellar campaign for City, in which he swept the board at last season’s PSL awards ceremony, Manyama had been in demand, both locally and overseas. 

Manyama clutches his Absa Premiership Top Goal Scorer, Footballer of the Season and Player's Player of the Season awards trophies. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

While there had been interest from Mamelodi Sundowns, Comitis was never keen to sell to a local rival. His vision has always been to see his club’s best players move on and broaden their careers in Europe. Manyama is the first overseas transfer from the Cape club - and Comitis is certain it won’t be the last.

“I’ve made it clear right from the onset that City wants to create a platform for players to get to Europe,” said the City boss. “This is the first such transaction and it’s a sign for every other City player to set his sights on in following Manyama’s example. It’s just a case of dreaming big, working hard, performing consistently and being patient - eventually it will happen.

“Now that we have Benni (McCarthy, head coach) involved, he has the experience of having played at that level and can pass on his European knowledge and experience to the players. And I have to add that I am very happy for Manyama, in that this is what he has wanted, and he now has the opportunity he’s always dreamed of.”

Comitis admitted, though, that, financially, the amount the club received is not what he had in mind, but he was, nevertheless, happy to do the deal: “In the end, it wasn’t just about the money, it was about what was best for Manyama.”

Making the former City captain’s move all that more satisfying is the fact that he’s had to overcome many obstacles during his career.

Now, looking forward, the ball’s in Manyama’s court. He’s on the European stage - it’s up to him to make the most of it.

Cape Times

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