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Mamelodi Sundowns

Kekana: Ex-Bafana Bafana star reveals real reason why he left Mamelodi Sundowns

10:44 SAST 2022/01/19
Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns, September 2019
GOAL spoke to Masandawana's most successful captain in the PSL era as he opened up about his exit from the Chloorkop-based giants

Former Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana has opened about leaving the Tshwane giants after a decade with the club. 

The 36-year-old, who was one of the best South African central midfielders in his prime, saw his game time decline at Masandawana and he officially parted ways with the Chlookop-based side in November last year. 

Kekana surprisingly left Sundowns despite having signed a four-year contract extension a year before his departure and the deal was due to expire in June 2024.

“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.” 

Kekana played just nine matches in the PSL for Sundowns last season and he left the club without making a single appearance in the competition this term.

The decorated midfielder, who is currently a free agent, emphasized that he was in a quest of ‘peace and healthy environment’ which the club didn’t offer him anymore.

“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.” 

Kekana has been linked with Baroka FC and AmaZulu FC during the ongoing January transfer window.