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Mamelodi Sundowns' Kekana: Winning the PSL title is a feeling you can never get used to

07:56 BST 18/05/2020
Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns, September 2019
Despite a record haul of six PSL titles, the feeling does not get old for the Bafana Bafana international

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder and captain Hlompho Kekana is one of the countries most decorated players having won the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title a record six times.

Kekana shares this record with teammates, Denis Onyango, Anthony Laffor and Tebogo Langerman. All four first won their PSL titles during their time at SuperSport United.

Daine Klate, who also shares the record with them, also won his first – of three – with Matsatsantsa.

Despite this feat, the jovial feeling and anxiety that comes in anticipation of the country's most prized competition does not get old for Kekana.

"That feeling [winning the first league title], I cannot describe it," Kekana said in an Instagram Live discussion with Goal.

"It feels the same way every time and I cannot put it in words.

"It's a feeling that must happen to you to be able to describe it.

"My first medal, I gave it to my people [family] back in my village because I always told them that it's something that I always wanted to do. They said if I wanted it back, I can always come back for it.

“But I always knew I will work hard enough and win another one.

"When I was growing up, Alex Bapela - who is from my village - was the only man I knew who'd won it and I always envied it.

"So, when I won it the first time, I went back to the village and shared my joy with the village."

Kekana, 34, also recalled how a recent experience with Sphelele Mkhulise reminded him of how he felt when he won his first title with the then Gavin Hunt coached Matsatsantsa back in 2009.

"Let me tell you this, I remember we were returning from a match last season and preparing for the last game of the season. Our fitness coach was asking how we were feeling, and I told him I was tired and needed a break," Kekana encounters.

"But the young Pitso [Mkhulise] came in said 'Hey skipper' [no captain] you can’t be tired. I am winning my first league medal over the weekend and we can’t do this without you, I need you there.

"That hit me so deep because more than the feeling of being valued, I realised that's exactly how I felt in the week leading to my first PSL title. So, I knew exactly how he was feeling because I’ve been down the same road."

Should football return, pending feedback from the Covid-19 task team, the Sundowns foursome will continue their pursuit of a seventh PSL title.