Sundowns star Hlompho Kekana can match Daine Klate's record

10 May 2019 - 12:01
By Mark Gleeson
Hlompho Kekana.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images Hlompho Kekana.

Hlompho Kekana will join Daine Klate as the league’s most decorated footballer on Saturday should Mamelodi Sundowns annex the title at the expense of Orlando Pirates.

Should Downs – leading the Absa Premiership with 56 points to second-placed Pirates’ 54 ahead of Saturday’s final round of matches – confirm the title it will be Kekana’s sixth championship success‚ matching that of his former teammate Klate.

The pair won titles together at SuperSport United in 2008-09 and 2009-10‚ with Klate then going on to add to his list of championship successes with Pirates (2011 and 2012) and Bidvest Wits in 2017.

Klate had won a previous league title with SuperSport in 2007-08‚ a season in which Kekana still played for Black Leopards.

Kekana has won three subsequent championship medals with Sundowns in 2013-14‚ 2015-2016 and last season‚ bringing him to five.

The Bafana Bafana defensive midfielder‚ who turns 34 later this month‚ is hot favourite to be named Premier Soccer League (PSL) Player of the Season with his coach having already sung his praises repeatedly.

“I always speak about my players‚ I love my players so much. Kekana [is] unbelievable‚ maybe my Footballer of the Year‚” Pitso Mosimane said just weeks ago.

“I know he failed to win midfielder of the year for five years in a row – five years in a row.

“Every time there is a midfielder who pops up and beats him‚ I don’t know by one or two votes.

“But I’d vote for him for Footballer of the Year. He’s 33‚ it's unbelievable.

“He is a pleasure to watch – unbelievable.”

Mosimane is also chasing a landmark of his own and will join the list of the country’s most successful coaches.

He will join Jeff Butler (1989‚ 1991‚ 1992‚ 1993)‚ Gordon Igesund (1996-97‚ 2000-01‚ 2001-02 and 2006-07)‚ Ted Dumitru (1997-98‚ 1998-99‚ 2003-04 and 2004-05) and Gavin Hunt (2007-08‚ 2008-09‚ 2009-10 and 2016-17) on the list of coaches who have won four titles.

But Mosimane will match Butler as the fastest coach to have won four titles in the PSL or NSL era in just five years‚ 2014 to 2019.