Kekana vs Maluleke: Battle of great eights
Posted: 18 February 2019 Time: 20:30
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Hlompho Kekana and Polokwane City’s Jabulani Maluleke have got so much in common, other than the fact that they are arguably two of the finest midfielders in the PSL right now.
Both players started their careers at Black Leopards and went on to play for SuperSport United, winning the Absa Premiership title with Matsatsantsa. They are currently captains of the clubs they play for and they wear the jersey number eight.
Many players over the age of 30 are often written off as “old”, but these two players are showing that age if just a number. But at age 33, Kekana has played 26 matches in all competitions and has, in between this season, played for Bafana Bafana, showing no signs of slowing down. He covers a lot of ground of the pitch, playing a key role both in his own and opposition half. He may have only have two goals and one assist this season, but his overall contribution can never be overlooked.
Maluleke, meanwhile, is less than a month away from his 37th birthday, but is putting many of the younger midfielders in the PSL to shame. With three goals and five assists this season, Maluleke is Rise and Shine's most influential player this season.
It’s not just his goals that have inspired Rise and Shine to a great season which has seen them consistently being in the top eight, but it’s his ability to just slow things down on the pitch sometimes, communicate with players and pick the team up when things are not going well that has been key for the side this season.
A man who has played against both Kekana and Maluleke, SuperSport’s Reneilwe Letsholonyane, says both players have been a true example to their colleagues and are influential in their respective clubs.
“For me they are top players. They are an example obviously to a football person that shames or have the mentality of putting the age before the talent or hard work,” Letsholonyane tells KickOff.com.
“You can only judge a person by he or she does and not by the years or age. The two have been the most influential players in their respective teams. We see that they play week in and week out. Even when there’s a bit of fatigue here and there, they still push and they are examplary to fellow colleagues.”
Kekana and Maluleke will do battle when Sundowns host City at Loftus Stadium on Tuesday (19h30).