“My career was not the best a footballer could wish for” – Letsholonyane

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Kaizer Chiefs U17 coach Tshidiso Letsholonyane has revealed that his dream to become a superstar was hampered by injuries along the way.

The once budding football star and Young Master is another a graduate of Amakhosi’s Youth Academy structures as he shares some of his footballing experiences.

“My football career was not the best a footballer could wish for,” he says, “but from every challenge I faced, it was a lesson and an opportunity for me to grow,” said Letsholonyane.

Letsholonyane, the brother of former ‘Amakhosi’ midfielder, Reneilwe ‘Yeye’‚ was born in Soweto, White City Jabavu and later moved to Meadowlands at the age of 8.

“I started playing football at the age of 8 and joined the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development in 2009. I played for the U19 team and then moved to the reserve team a year later,” – Letsholonyane. 

In 2011, Amakhosi offered Letsholonyane a 3-year contract, and thereafter, “I was loaned out to a National First Division side Dynamos FC,” he recollects. “I was there for a season but didn’t get that much of a game time though. It was a disappointing experience for me but I never looked back. I continued to focus on the future

“I came back to Chefs from the loan spell and spent the last 2 years of my contract in the reserves team where I enjoyed my football and we won the SAB league. The Kaizer Chiefs U19 was coached by legend Ace Khuse when we won the SAB League in 2013/14 season.”

Letsholonyane’s contract expired in 2014. “I went on to try my luck at another National First Division side Thanda Royal Zulu,” he says. “I struggled to secure a contract due to a recurring knee injury.”

In 2017 Letsholonyane decided to stop playing. “I felt I no longer had the desire to play football and that’s when I decided to take a different route.” Picture: Instagram – Tshidiso Letsholonyane.

“I decided to go to school and do a short course to help kick start any role in a football environment. I did a Sports Coaching Science course with Trifocus Fitness Academy,” added the 28-year-old.

“As part of the course, I was expected to do practicals and shadowing in a football environment. I am glad Kaizer Chiefs offered me the opportunity to do my practical in the Development Academy.

“My passion for coaching grew from there onward. I proceeded to do coaching badges with SAFA Coaching Education. I decided from there on to pursue a career as a coach.”

Covid-19 impacted Letsholonyane’s plans negatively as he was supposed to go to Ireland this year (May 2020) to do his Uefa Badge but unfortunately the pandemic happened.

Letsholonyane was coach of Amakhosi’s U15 for two seasons before graduating to the U17s this year. Picture: Instagram – Tshidiso Letsholonyane.

“I have so many coaches I look up to. I’m still young and I am planning to acquire as many qualifications as possible. I plan to learn as much as I can and grow not only as a coach but also as a person that the kids look up to.”

Letsholonyane dreams one day he will ascend to be at the helm of coaching the first team. “Hopefully one day I will help to be part of the successful history of Amakhosi. I want to repay the club for everything they have done for me and my family.”

RELATED STORY: I contributed to Steve Komphela’s stress levels – Letsholonyane

Edited by Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

By Kaizer Chiefs 

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