Wiseman Maluleke has opened up on Black Leopards’ relegation from the South African football top-flight to the GladAfrica Championship.
The Limpopo-based outfit was put out of their misery as their Premier Soccer League relegation was confirmed when they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the expense of Cape Town City during the DStv Premiership penultimate round.
The 29-year-old midfielder insists it has been hard for them since nobody wants to get relegated, especially for a club of Leopards’ calibre.
“It was a tough and very emotional thing within the club and how much we gave in terms of fighting. At the end of the day, it was a very painful event that occurred so it’s just an element of us accepting whatever happened,” Maluleke tells FARPost.
Maluleke further stated that the club gave their all but came up short and that’s been the story of the season as there’s no doubt about the commitment side of things. However, the quality let them down during parts of the campaign when they needed it.
“We slept the whole season and the time we woke up it was too late. In the remaining games that we got under the tutelage of Morgan Shivambu and Mongezi Bobe, that’s when we were united enough to try to fight and save the team, but unfortunately, it never happened,” he adds.
The Giyani-born footballer continued: “There’s no doubt there will be a lot of changes at the club and that’s for the coaches and the chairman to go through.”
When asked about his future at Lidoda Duvha, the gifted central midfielder said he is yet to decide because he still wants to weigh his options.
“At the moment it is just for me and the management to try to sit down and talk, because they have made their intentions clear in terms of what they want as a club. However, it’s up to me now to go back to the family to tell them what’s happening and make a well-informed decision. But as a football player, I would forever want to be in the DStv Premiership just like how it’s everyone’s dream,” explains the former Polokwane City player.
“They told me that they are happy with my performance and their intention is to keep me in the club, but they said to me that I should go and think about it before I could make my final decision.”
In his closing remarks, he apologised to the club’s faithfuls – explaining how strange this season has been without fans because they know how good their fans can be in motivating them to do well in the field of play.
“I would like to apologise to our supporters for the mischief that happened last season. We gave our all but we weren’t good enough. But we want to thank them for their support as they have been brilliant with us even without being in the stadium. It’s important that they stick with the team and hopefully we can get the club back in the top division,” he says in conclusion.
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By Mauwane Raophala