Reneilwe Letsholonyane, 36, currently has no plans to retire. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - While many deem Absa Premiership footballers who surpass the age of 30 to be “overage or in the twilight of their careers’’, SuperSport United maestro Reneilwe Letsholonyane is not bothered as long as he continues to perform for his team.

Letsholonyane turned 36 on June 9, but continues to be one of the most consistent players in top-flight football. To compound the argument, in the past six years he’s won six domestic titles, including two Premiership crowns, while recently reaching his first Caf Confederations Cup final.

“We have different opinions as human beings but it’s a fact that we are over 30," Letsholonyane admitted. “Unfortunately, the perception in the country is that when you are over 30, you can’t play and blah, blah, blah. But for me it has been like that for years and I don’t think it will ever change. 

"I am the type of player that doesn’t prove anything to anyone; I do my own thing and continue to work hard. I cannot change the fact that I am 36 but as long as the management, coaches, my teammates and family can still confide in me doing my job, I am happy."

By the time the 2018/19 campaign concludes, "Yeye" will be a few weeks from his 37th birthday but the thought of retirement hasn’t entered his mind. "To put a time-frame on when I’ll retire, it’s a negative attitude towards my career,’’ Letsholonyane insisted. 

“I’ll see when the time comes; that is, when my body doesn’t allow me to run anymore. But for now, as long I can still do my job properly, get backing from the people around me, and most importantly, believe in myself, I will play for as long as I can."

Letsholonyane and company are in a revamp season with Matsatsantsa a Pitori after they nearly succumbed to relegation due to a horrific second half of last season and had to depend on a final-day victory to retain their top-flight status. But with luck on their side through the Tendai Ndoro registration saga, they also sealed a top eight finish a few days later.

The new breath of life gave them a chance to challenge for their second MTN8 trophy in as many seasons, and so far they’ve grabbed the opportunity with both hands considering that they beat Orlando Pirates in the quarter-finals last weekend. Kaizer Chiefs wait for them in the semi-finals on August 25, but before that they have to get past Bidvest Wits in the league at home onSaturday.

“It’s a big game again for us, and Wits are a good team," Letsholonyane said. “Our preparations for that game have been going well and everyone has been working hard. I am sure that we will be ready to compete, as we hope to win the game on Saturday."

On facing his former team Chiefs a week after, the midfielder added: “It’s obviously a special moment for me because I’ve played there almost my entire professional career. But only one team can make the final and at the end of the day we all need to do our jobs, and mine is to help SuperSport reach the final."


The Star

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter