In what could be described as an honest interview, former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane has told FARPost the real reason he left Amakhosi.
When ‘Yeye’ departed from Chiefs in May 2016 for SuperSport United, it was thought it was because he had received a better offer from the latter.
There was more to it, however, than just an offer from another club.
Letsholonyane revealed to this publication during an Instagram Live interview – through our handle FARPostZa – that he felt he had let down his coach, Steve Komphela, who was in his first season at Chiefs.
“It was a tough decision (to leave) and emotional, because it’s like you (are) leaving your home for the first time, so it was a hard decision to make but it had to be done,” stated the Jabavu-born, Soweto, star.
“It wasn’t entirely about my contract or the offer (from SuperSport United) – it wasn’t really about that. I had to look at myself, it was that season ya Coach Steve, his first season.
“And as much as I had injuries and what not that season, the thing is we played two cup finals and we lost both, and I remember when he joined the team, for me it was a huge thing, because he’s a South African and he’s a good person, he’s a good coach. So for me I really wanted him to do well… I really wanted Coach Steve to do well and not winning one of the two finals increased stress for yena, obviously, for him from the supporters to think he’s not a good coach, right.
“So end of the season when obviously we were negotiating my contract and what not, those are the things that I considered (that) as a person I didn’t perform the way I wanted to perform.”
That season, Letsholonyane played 30 games, including 90 minutes in the 1-0 MTN8 final defeat to Ajax Cape Town and 37 minutes during the 3-1 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout decider.
“I didn’t contribute to the team the way I want to contribute to the team. I contributed to the stress levels tsa these young black coach, who got an opportunity to coach this big brand and change the mindset ya batho to say even a local coach can deal with this big team,” he said.
The other reason was that Letsholonyane had been at Chiefs since 2008, winning two League titles along the way and felt that, after eight years at Naturena, he risked falling into the comfort zone trap.
“So for me, I was disappointed and I knew that if I stayed another season I don’t think I would be playing now, because whether we like it or not, there’s a comfort zone that creeps, and because you’ve been there for a very long time, subconsciously, you would be comfortable.
“I felt ukuthi (that) moving away and get a new challenge would take me out of that comfort zone,” added Letsholonyane, who went on to win the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 with Matsatsantsa.
In the interview, Letsholonyane also speaks about how he ended up at Chiefs despite interest from Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns at the time.
He’s currently with Highlands Park, for whom he’s played 14 matches this season.
*The interview which is about one hour is available on our Instagram account (@FARPostZA), as well as other interviews we’ve done recently.
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By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa