Sundowns chairman: Saying goodbye to Kekana was ‘tough’

Kekana left Mamelodi Sundowns last year after a decade with the powerhouse club. The veteran midfielder departed Chloorkop as the club’s most decorated captain, having made more than 350 appearances across all competitions for the Brazilians.

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The 36-year-old midfielder is currently a free agent, but has been linked with a host of different clubs since then.

South African media personality Skepe Matsebane, who is the host of Power Sport Extra, has now quoted Motsepe as he opened up about Kekana’s departure.

“When the opportunity comes, we want to honour Hlompho with our fans, regulations permitting. A testimonial is something that perhaps we could explore. It is definitely something that we are looking to do in the future.

“The toughest challenge since taking over at Sundowns was when we had to say goodbye to captain Hlompho Kekana. These are emotional conversations. To say goodbye to someone who has contributed to the club was challenging and difficult.”

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA STAR KEKANA: WHY I LEFT SUNDOWNS!

Tlhopie’s Toughest Sundowns Challenge:

“The toughest challenge since taking over at Sundowns was when we had to say goodbye to captain Hlompho Kekana. These are emotional conversations. To say goodbye to someone who has contributed to the club was challenging and difficult,” pic.twitter.com/WzoCkyBEP9

— A Dog That Bites (@SkepeMatsebane) January 26, 2022

KEKANA PLAYED OVER 350 MATCHES FOR SUNDOWNS

Despite having signed a four-year contract extension a year before his departure, Kekana has recently shared with GOAL exactly why he could no longer remain with the club in good conscience, while he has also spoken about why he decided to join Celtic ahead of the 2010/11 season at a time when Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates interested in his services.

“At the time, I made the decision based on the age. I know everyone wanted to play for the two teams, but I was still not mature enough to deal with the pressure that comes with playing for these two teams,” Kekana told GOAL

“I’m a player that wants to win trophies, a player that wants to win matches. Both Chiefs and Pirates were doing very well at the time. I love seeing myself play matches. I’ve always been my own biggest fan.

“When I wanted to leave SuperSport or when the situation was allowing me to do so and considering my form at that time everybody thought I’d join one of the Soweto giants and they were shocked to hear that I wanted to join Bloemfontein Celtic,” he continued.

“I just wanted to play football and I didn’t want to find myself competing with the best players in the league. I was 23 years old, and I still wanted to develop myself,” he added.

“I felt I can’t go to a bigger team and fight for game time. There’s little room for errors in big teams and I still wanted to learn more about the game.” 

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Meanwhile, Kekana has revealed his dramatic departure from Sundowns was a decision he ‘had to take’ based on the environment at the club.

“It came a season that we won the league. I already knew that it was time. Simply because I didn’t play as much as I wanted. Simply because I could, and I feel that environment was slowly changing for me,” Kekana told GOAL

“So, I made a decision then that in the coming year, I’ll shake everybody’s hand and leave. It was a decision I had to take. I wanted a better environment which is what I always strive for. I wanted to be at peace.

“I wanted to be at a place where I’m always myself. That was the time for me to decide, particularly regarding the environment where I felt it was not for me.

“Peace is when a player is happy with everything, the environment. A player has to perform his duties and only worry about your performance as a player,” said the Zebediela-born player. 

“The environment has to accommodate you, help you to be at peace, to be comfortable. I felt at the time there wasn’t that and the environment was changing for me. It was time for me to leave and go somewhere else.

“The environment wasn’t what I was used to. Of course, there were so many changes that were taking place. Maybe it was just human nature, but I saw it coming and I knew it was time for me to go.”

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