TS Galaxy midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane has expressed his delight since his best friend Siphiwe Tshabalala is back playing football and insists there is a need to keep fighting the perception that a football player is finished once he reaches 30.
Tshabalala, 36, was confirmed as the new signing by AmaZulu this week, while Letsholonyane, 38, has signed on the dotted line for the DStv Premiership rookies, Galaxy.
Yeye and Shabba played alongside each other at Kaizer Chiefs and have also teamed up on a business venture outside of football.
“I am happy that he has now got another opportunity to do what he loves which is to play football,” Letsholonyane told journalists during Galaxy’s training session on Thursday.
“There is a perception in this country that when you reach a certain age you must retire, so it’s a battle that we are trying to fight, or rather fight is a strong word. It’s a perception that we need to change in the country.
“For an example when I turned professional, I had players like Andrew Rabutla, who were way older than me, the likes of Collen Tlemo, Innocent Ntsume. I played under their guidance for a few years, I moved to another club (Kaizer Chiefs) I got players like Thabo Mooki, Arthur Zwane, Tinashe Nengomasha, the same thing happened.
“So it doesn’t mean that by virtue of being old then you must be phased out, there is time for everything. When you feel that by the age of 30 you are still okay then you must do it. If there is still that love, hunger within you that you can still go for a few more years, then go for it.
“Whether we like it or not, young players will never change things on their own. I am happy that Shabba is back playing football and he will definitely contribute to other youngsters in Durban, including Tsepo Masilela who is still playing that side. They will do the same job that we do with Bevan Fransman this side,” added Letsholonyane.
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By Ofhani Munyai