It always feels good to see footballers play into their mid-30s especially in South Africa where age is a big factor.
You are considered over the hill in SA soon as you hit 30.
But there are players who have defied age (and sometimes critics) to prolong their respective careers.
FARPost.co.za looks at the five oldest Premier Soccer League (PSL) players and their contributions this season.
Moeneeb Josephs (AmaZulu)
(19 May 1980 – 39 years old)
‘Slim Kat’ is by far the longest-serving PSL player. He made his debut for Cape Town Spurs at the age of 17 in September 1997 against African Wanderers and remains in the topflight just six months shy of his 40th birthday. The Cape Town-born goalkeeper has played almost 500 PSL games, but he’s no longer the number 1 at AmaZulu and has 1 appearance to his name this season, which was Usuthu’s first Absa Premiership game of the 2019/2020 campaign and they lost 3-0 to Josephs’s former club, Bidvest Wits.
Jabulani Maluleke (Polokwane City)
(17 March 1982 – 37 years old)
‘Mavotji’ has some real staying power in the game. The man from Soweto has missed just two League games for Rise and Shine this season. Last season, he missed just four League games, playing 26. Not only is he playing, but he’s been able to perform week in and week out, much to the surprise of all and sundry. For someone so consistent, it’s a big surprise that he never played for Bafana Bafana and when he was named the Absa Premiership Player of the Month for October 2018, it was the first time he received an award in the topflight!
Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Highlands Park)
(9 June 1982 – 37 years old)
Now with the Lions of the North, he told FARPost.co.za this week that he’s not even thought of retiring at this stage. Arguably one of the fittest players in the League, Letsholonyane continues to inspire the youngsters. The former Jomo Cosmos, Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United midfielder has made five appearances this season.
Greg Etafia (Highlands Park)
(30 September 1982 – 37 years old)
He was restored to the squad after an injury to fellow goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini, who has since recovered and the Nigerian has not played. In fact, he’s more of a mentor to other goalkeepers; Marlon Heugh (29), Thela Ngobeni (30) and Kyle Peters (26), who are in any case old enough to have gained some valuable experience along the way in their careers.
Morgan Gould (Stellenbosch)
(23 March 1983 – 36 years old)
Bevan Fransman of Highlands Park, Bidvest Wits’ Elias Pelembe and Wayne Sandilans of Orlando Pirates are also 36, but younger than Gould as the latter was born earlier in the year in 1983. Formerly with SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs, the central defender has featured 8 times in the League for the PSL rookies. The 2009/10 PSL Footballer of the Season has been hampered by injuries over the years, but has kept going.
DID YOU KNOW?
In terms of the 2019/2020 PSL players’ registrations, the youngest player at the moment is Chiefs goalkeeper Karabo Molefe, who’s 16 (born January 6, 2003).
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa