Throwback Thursday: Ishmael Maluleke


Maluleke, who won the PSL top goal scorer award with Manning Rangers in the 2001/02 season, retired in 2008 due to an Achilles tendon injury.

He is now a pastor back home in Giyani leading a congregation in Malamulele.

“You choose coaching but you can’t choose to be a pastor. It’s a calling. I had to respond to the calling,” says Maluleke, who was ordained on April 30 at the Solomon’s Porch Worship Tabernacle Church, which has four branches in Limpopo.

“I have been serving God since 1992 and was officially born again in 2001. Leading people is a challenging position. You don’t lead them physically but spiritually,” he adds.

Maluleke is still involved in the game, running a youth soccer academy. He admits that he misses topflight football.

“I run a soccer academy here in Giyani with the Under-12, 13 and 19s. I also play sometimes with the SAB League team Langutane Blue Birds when I am free. When they fail to score, I get in and show the players how it’s done when you in front of goals.

“I miss topflight football. It saddens me when I see strikers missing goals these days. There is no more hunger amongst the current generation. They score one goal and celebrate it the whole 90 minutes. They no longer push themselves to score more goals in a match like the likes of [Gilbert] Mushangazikhe and [Christopher] Katongo used to do.”

Maluleke, who holds a national diploma in marketing and a degree in property and real estate, also played for Silver Stars [Platinum Stars] and Jomo Cosmos. He says moving to Sundowns was a bad career move.

“My best memories in football were when I was with Manning Rangers and I won the top goal scorer award in the 2001/02 season, and also with AmaZulu when I joined them in the second half of the season and helped them gain promotion to the PSL after I scored 18 goals in 14 games for the club.

“My worst moments were when I joined Sundowns. That was a good financial move, but a bad career move. I wanted to play for SuperSport United, Ajax Cape Town or Dynamos but my agent then, Mike Makaab, had already concluded the deal with Sundowns. It was a bad move and I struggled to get game-time as I had to compete with the likes of Raphael Chukwu, Simba Marumo and Daniel Mudau.”

Having seen the best and worst in football, Maluleke has left a message for youngsters.

“You have 24 hours in a day. Two hours to train and what do you do with the rest of the time? I used the rest of time to study to get my diploma and degree.

“My message to youngsters is that there is life after football. Invest your money in property and other important things. You can also study. Stop spending money on many cars,” he concludes.

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