Ex-Orlando Pirates captain Oupa Manyisa settling into new life at Mamelodi Sundowns
Oupa Manyisa may be a shadow of the player he was at the peak of his powers but Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana expects their recent acquisition to regain his bearings in his new surroundings and fire from all cylinders again.
The 29-year-old Manyisa‚ who joined the Brazillians on a three-year deal last week‚ joined his new teammates on the last day of their mini pre-season camp at the Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg on Saturday morning and Kekana says the former Orlando Pirates captain has looked jovial since his arrival.
“Oupa is settling in very well and I am happy to see him enjoying life with his new teammates‚” said Kekana.
“He has been showing a big smile on his face and it shows that we are going to have a good season with him.
"I sat down with him on the first day he arrived.
"We were in camp at Royal Marang in Rustenburg and we spoke about so many things that revolve around life in general.
Manyisa looked out of sorts at Pirates and was one of many players that were singled out by the fans as having contributed to the Buccaneers' slump.
"I told him that here at Sundowns we don't really depend on a single individual.
"So we must make sure that we support him. He just has to make sure that he adapts well in the team and ensures that he represents the badge well.
Manyisa has only had a week of training with his new Sundowns' teammates and it remains to be seen if he has clocked enough miles at the training grounds to convince coach Pitso Mosimane to throw him into the deep end.
Kekana believes that Manyisa‚ who has extensive knowledge of travelling and playing on the continent after reaching the CAF Champions League final in 2013 and the Confederations Cup two year later with Pirates‚ has a lot to offer the team.
“When we signed Oupa obviously we knew that he had so much to offer to the team. He is an experienced player also and we hope that his experiences over the years rubs on to other players‚ especially the young ones like Percy Tau and Motjeka Madisha.
“Oupa doesn't need introduction in South African football. Oupa has done so well for himself in South African football.
“He has been to the CAF Champions League final with Pirates‚ so the experience he has tells you that the guy understands the game.
"He understands what it takes for him to play for Mamelodi Sundowns.”
Sundowns host Maritzburg United in the quarter-final of the MTN8 at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is at 3pm.