Whilst the 2-0 defeat to Highlands Park this past weekend may have brought an end to SuperSport United’s hot and cold season, it also saw veteran midfield engine Reneilwe Letsholonyane turning out for Matsatsantsa for the very last time.
Having joined United in 2016 from Kaizer Chiefs, Yeye now leaves the club for greener pastures elsewhere as the pair couldn’t agree to terms on a new contract. Letsholonyane reflects on his time with the Pretoria outfit.
Sparingly used this season as United coach Kaitano Tembo gave younger players such as Teboho Mokoena and Jamie Webber opportunities, Letsholonyane has played 16 times in the League this season and has amassed a total of 88 appearances across all competitions since joining United in 2016.
An all-action midfielder, the former Cosmos man’s ability to effortlessly turn defence to attack is commendable as he possesses great on-the-ball driving skill and off-the-ball defensive awareness.
While the football world tends to obsess over the older players and suggesting that the end of their playing days are on the horizon, Letsholonyane, at the ripe age of 36, believes we might actually only be about half way through his career.
With Highlands Park, Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United all been touted as possible next destinations, Yeye is unsure where he will play next season but remains certain that retirement is not yet on the cards.
Possessing an insanely gritty spirit that has made him one of the most respected midfield generals, Letsholonyane, who spent nearly a decade been the root of Amakhosi’s tank has donned the national team jersey on 54 occasions.
What has made him special is his ability to read the game where his positional awareness has made him one of the best interceptors of the ball as he can tackle his team out of trouble and play an inch-perfect long ball to devastate the opposition defence in the very next moment. Yeye says he has no regrets.
Matsatsantsa coach Kaitano Tembo says players of Letsholonyane’s calibre are far and few, praising his professionalism, clean, discipline and sheer determination. – Report by Tumi Gabonamong
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