My 2017 review: Lebo Manyama

Players Abroad

The reigning KICK OFF Footballer of the Year grew from strength to strength this past year, having enjoyed his best season at Cape Town City before earning a move to Turkey in September.

Here is what the 27-year-old has to say as he reflects on all that's happened thus far:

'It’s been an amazing year, and obviously what stands out for me is what happened with Cape Town City. I think we had an amazing 2016/17 season, with not really the finish we wanted, but for a team that only started last year, we did very well; we exceeded all expectations.

Individually, I contributed a lot to the team and they helped me in so many ways. So, it was a very good first half of the year up until the end of last season, when I also won the Absa Premiership Player of the Season award.

I then obviously got the move to Turkey and since then it’s been tough, to be honest. It’s not easy living in a foreign country and it’s my first time doing this. I’ve tried my best to adjust to the league and the country itself thus far, and it’s a learning curve that I’m very happy to go through.

So, the year as a whole is one I’ll never forget because I’ve achieved so much individually, and I must say I’m very happy with how everything went.

I’m a very optimistic guy and I’m very patient, and as long as I’m training well, I believe my chance will come. The league itself is of a very high level, and I know there are certain areas of my game that I can do better in, but I’m continuing to work on that at training.

Obviously, there’s always room for improvement, you can never be satisfied. It’s easy getting to the top, but staying there is another story. You have to make sure you’re improving day-by-day and, for me, 2018 is about taking it one day and one game at a time.'

Having had no Chrsitmas break, Manyama will be in action against Trabzonspor in the Turkish Cup round of 16 first leg on Wednesday evening before coming home on Thursday to enjoy a short break with his family.

He will then return to Konya in the New Year as his side prepare for their return leg cup fixture on January 16.