DURBAN – Seven league titles – CAF Champions League, CAF Super Cup, two Nedbank Cup crowns and two Telkom Knockout triumphs – indicate the kind of success that Hlompho Kekana has enjoyed throughout his time as a professional football player in South Africa.
The Mamelodi Sundowns skipper will go down as one of the most decorated captains for the Brazilian. He has, undoubtedly, attained the status of legendary captain.
His age suggests that Kekana is at the twilight of his career but he is maturing like wine. The burning desire to win more silverware is still intact. He remains humble and chooses to speak as a team man that about his individual accolades.
“It is difficult but it is doable (to keep winning),” he says.
“We are an ambitious team. Every season, we’ve managed to win trophies,” Kekana said, reflecting on the kind of success that he has enjoyed as the captain of Sundowns.
The Brazilians completed a treble last week after beating Bloemfontein Celtic by Gaston Sirino solitary strike at Orlando Stadium to capture the Nedbank Cup.
Sundowns also dethroned Kaizer Chiefs at the summit of the table on the last day of the league.
At the start of the season, they got the better of Maritzburg United to lift the Telkom Knockout at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
“We have limited time in football. We want to use this time wisely. We want to enjoy these moments. Our aim is to create good memories while we are at the club. Our goals are still the same, we want to win trophies. We want to make sure that we better our previous season performances,” Kekana detailed.
Kekana has endeared himself in the hearts of the Brazilians. The lanky midfielder has been a vital cog for the club. He has performed with honour and distinction in the midfield.
“When I was a kid in the village, it was always my dream to win trophies and mainly the league. All I wanted was to win one league title. I am blessed to have (won) seven. I still want more league titles and more trophies. I’m proud of the journey that I’ve travelled. It hasn’t been all that smooth but I am proud of the amount of work that I’ve put. I’m still motivated and have the desire to win more,” Kekana elaborated.
Sundowns are now a dominant force in South African football. They have swept every trophy on offer, mostly under his leadership.
“We have to make better use of our opportunities and those opportunities are now. We still have a wonderful opportunity to play football. It is important to create our own history. Our success pushes us to always be on our toes – it doesn’t get easier. Teams are tired of us winning trophies and they want to challenge us. But it is a challenge that we embrace,” Kekana said.
As Sundowns look to sustain their dominance through renewing coach Pitso Mosimane and Kekana’s contract, captain fantastic may well be on his way to bagging more glory with Masandawana.