Maluleke recognised despite Bucs snub

The Rise and Shine skipper has long been an underrated figure, having been an ever-present since his early days at Black Leopards before going on to make a name for himself at SuperSport United.

Maluleke joined Matsatsantsa in 2009, helping the club to a third successive league title under Gavin Hunt as he played an instrumental role down the right flank.

The 36-year-old then moved to Polokwane in January 2014 after falling out of favour under Cavin Johnson, with City handing him a lifeline at the age of 32.

He quickly re-established himself as a regular at the Limpopo-based outfit, and even caught the eye of Orlando Pirates earlier this year but made a massive decision not to entertain the offer to work under the mentorship of Milutin Sredojevic and Rhulani Mokwena.

The Soweto-born veteran has since showed what Bucs were after as he guided City to a seven-game unbeaten run prior to their defeat to the Soweto side on Tuesday. He was still recognised by the Premier Soccer League for his contribution over the course of last month.

After gracefully accepting the award, Maluleka outlined that the offer from Pirates was not enough to end his loyalty towards his current employers.

“I did get an offer from Pirates, but I think it goes with loyalty since I had been at SuperSport for four-and-a-half years and the chairman [Johnny Mogaladi] came and offered me a contract to come to Polokwane City since things were not going well for me then,” said Maluleke.

“So, I had to weigh up my options then to decided which route I would take, and obviously it goes with my family – I went to meet up with my dad and we spoke about a lot of things as we looked at the future and what would be next for me.

“So, that’s when I had to take the decision to go back to Polokwane City because they were loyal to me.”

The veteran has been a model professional over the years, with his longevity at the highest level of the game worthy of praise on its own.