Lebese opens up after Downs trauma

Players Abroad

Ex-Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Lebese has opened up on his move to the United States and is hoping to "fall in love" with football again after his Mamelodi Sundowns experience.

Lebese parted ways with Sundowns amicably in September last year, just two years after arriving from Chiefs as he looked to represent his home team in Mamelodi.

It took the 30-year-old, who will be celebrating his 31st birthday on Monday, three-and-a-half months to pick himself up from the harrowing experience of being condemned to the stands before he joined USL Championship side Switchbacks FC.

In an interview with The Gazette upon his arrival in Colorado Springs earlier this week, Lebese revealed just how his move came about at the time of signing with Alan Koch’s side back in December.

“I was at a point in my career where I had to make a decision, and fortunately enough the team [Switchbacks] came and called me to ask if I’m interested to join them,” detailed Lebese.

“I was a free player, so I thought it would be a good experience to get out of South Africa and come here to try to enjoy football again.”

Koch – a South African-born tactician, offered further insight into the decision to bring the winger over to The States, adding: Obviously I was born in South Africa, so I’ve continued to follow the game there, even though it’s been a long time since I lived in South Africa.

“But being aware of him and all the different players in that league, we reached out, explored it, started talking and here we are today – he’s training in Colorado.”

Lebese also elaborated on his vision of joining the second division side with ambitions of one day becoming an Major League Soccer franchise.

I saw myself fitting in well in his plans and what he’s trying to do in taking the team to a higher level, so I think I can contribute something,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to fall in love with the game again, and try and make the most of it by helping the team, firstly, to finish as high as we can.”