‘I was written off at Chiefs and Downs’

Manqele ended a two-year scoring drought when he netted in the 2-0 win over Ajax Cape Town in midweek which lifted Stars to seventh in the Premiership standings.

The 30-year-old returned to Ea Lla Koto in September on a two-year deal, having started training with the club in July after being released by Chiefs in April.

Manqele shone in his first spell with the Bethlehem-based outfit in 2011/12, bagging 11 goals in 29 appearances. He earned a move to Sundowns but he failed to make an impact at Chloorkop as he battled with weight issues. He bounced on to Amakhosi and likewise struggled as he scored just once in 19 months.

"I am excited to score after a long time without being on the scoresheet," Manqele tells KickOff.com.

"The goal will go a long way to boost my confidence. This will go a long way to motivate me and keep me working hard. So far so good and I am getting there with regards to my fitness. As I said this goal will act as great motivation and boost confidence to start scoring more goals again."

He adds: "I have been in the industry for a long time to understand everything. Yes, I know many people had written me off but it's upon you to be strong. This is not the first time this thing happened. It happened at Sundowns. It happened at Chiefs. However, everything is now in the past and I am focused on doing well for Free State Stars."

Manqele gave credit to his coach Luc Eymael for believing in his talent.

"I have been getting great support both from my teammates and the management. Yes, everything becomes easy when the coach believes in you and has been playing me in my favourite position."

Ea Lla koto face Platinum Stars at Goble Park tonight (20h15).