Mamelodi Sundowns don't want to go through it all again - Kekana wants bright start

Hlompho Kekana, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2019
The veteran midfielder is keen to continue playing despite being considered a 'madala' (old man) having signed a new four-year deal in March 2020

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana has set his sights on next season's Premier Soccer League (PSL) title.

The accomplished midfielder led Masandawana to their third successive PSL title in the 2019/20 season and he is hungry for more success.

However, Kekana wants to win the 2020/21 league championship without the drama of the recent campaign.

Sundowns had to win their final match of the term and hope that the result between Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka FC goes their way.

“As you’d have noticed, we often start slowly in the league and pick up momentum as the season goes," Kekana told Daily Sun.

“That does put pressure especially when we also have to travel the continent for [Caf] Champions League fixtures."

Kekana along with his Sundowns teammates Anthony Laffor and Denis Onyango have won a record seven PSL titles and he is determined to win more silverware. 

“But please, we don’t want to go through what we went through again. Next season we have to make sure we win matches and pick up points early," he added.

“Yes, the league race was nerve-wracking and one does get anxious. But we don’t want to win it that way again. Next season it’ll be different.”

Kekana is one of the oldest players in the PSL at the age of 35 and he is keen to break the stereotype that players over 30 are past their sell-by date. 

“There are many things that I need to prove to myself and one of them is to break the stereotype that once you reach 31, you are considered a madala,” he said. 

Article continues below

“I know what it means to footballers whose careers are cut short because of age. When I look overseas there are players who go until 40. But here at home, it is sad to see players being overlooked due to age.

“However, I still need to put in a lot of work in order for me to achieve what I want to achieve. But I’m ready for the challenge and I’m ready to make sure I keep breaking the boundaries.”

Kekana made his PSL debut in 2004 whilst playing for Black Leopards and he had spells with City Pillars, SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic before joining Sundowns in 2011.