Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana ready for domestic and continental quest
Following his first off-season break in five years‚ Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana is feeling fresh and ready for a daunting challenge that will see the club pursue titles on the continent and at home.
The Brazilians will compete in four domestic competitions and in the Caf Champions League with Kekana expected to play a central role in midfield.
Their quest to recapture the Champions League starts with a tricky clash against little-known Congolese side Sportive Otoho O’Oyo on Sunday.
“After five years without getting a break‚ two weeks rest was enough for me‚” he said.
“The first week I was missing the guys a lot and I was calling them.
"I stayed at home and enjoyed time with the family and enjoyed village life.
"I really enjoyed the village life but I am back at work now.
"I look and feel fresh‚ and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Kekana played his first match of the season in the 2-0 win over SuperSport United on Saturday and he admitted that he struggled with match fitness.
“My first game was very difficult because the level of fitness was not up to scratch‚" he said.
"If you look at the whole team‚ it is not even balanced because some had eight weeks of rest while others had two or three weeks off.
"There was no balance but we did what we had to do and thankfully managed to play well and score two goals‚ which is important.”
Kekana said they did their homework ahead of their trip to Congo against the little-known Sportive Otoho O’Oyo.
“We watched their videos and they look like a team that is very aggressive‚ but we will have to work on how to deal with them‚’ he said.
“It will be important for everybody to try and be positive and support whoever is playing.
"At the same time‚ when we win‚ we win as a team and when we lose we lose as a team.
"I am hoping that we will continue with the same mentality regardless of whoever plays.”