Highlands coach Da Gama sets his sights on 'Yeye' Letsholonyane's signature

29 August 2019 - 16:35 By Tiisetso Malepa
Highlands Park head coach Owen da Gama with goalkeeper coach Rowen Fernandez and striker Rodney Ramagalela at training.
Highlands Park head coach Owen da Gama with goalkeeper coach Rowen Fernandez and striker Rodney Ramagalela at training.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama has thrown the gauntlet to his employers and asked them to secure Reneilwe “Yeye” Letsholonyane's signature.

The 37-year-old Letsholonyane‚ who is a free agent after he left SuperSport United at the end of last season‚ started training with Highlands two weeks ago with a hope of securing a contract and Da Gama said the veteran midfielder would be a valuable addition to his team.

“We are trying to see how he likes the setup here and how he can fit into the team‚ but we do understand that decisions have to be made (by management).

"But I would love to have him in my team because he is just unbelievable‚” said Da Gama.

“It’s up to management and how the negotiations go but I think he will definitely add value to us. He is unbelievable on and off the field and he is such a humble human being."

Reneilwe Letsholonyane during a training session with Highlands Park on August 29 2019.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane during a training session with Highlands Park on August 29 2019.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Da Gama waxed lyrical about “Yeye” on Thursday at the club’s Balfour Park training base in Johannesburg where Highlands were preparing for the first of their two-legged MTN8 semifinal clash away against Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

Kickoff is at 3pm.

The winner of the two-legged MTN8 semifinal will play in their first ever cup final.

The Highlands mentor said Letshlolonyane “is the most humble player I have ever seen in this country” and believes that the former Kaizer Chiefs star’s presence is priceless for the rest of the squad.

“You need that intelligence that he has‚ that creativity and that spark within the midfield and in that regard we think he can help us‚” said Da Gama of the veteran of 50 Bafana Bafana caps.

Highlands defeated Orlando Pirates to book a place in the MTN8 semifinal against Polokwane and have lost just once in the five matches they have played so far this season.

They now meet a Polokwane side that is high on confidence having dispatched Cape Town City to reach the last four.

Polokwane have won three of their opening five matches this season and will pose serious danger for Highlands.

With this being the first leg‚ the second scheduled for Tuesday September 17 in Tembisa‚ Da Gama hinted that his team would deploy a cautious approach in Polokwane.

“I think we have got to try and not concede any goals‚ and try and get an away goal to grab that advantage‚” said Da Gama.

“The new Polokwane coach has just continued from where the previous coach left.

"It’s like they know each other you know. They have just synergized that very well and just moved on ahead. They are an awkward team.”

Rodney Ramagalela is back at Highlands Park after two weeks of compassionate leave following the death of his daughter.
Rodney Ramagalela is back at Highlands Park after two weeks of compassionate leave following the death of his daughter.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Going back to Letsholonyane‚ Da Gama’s face lit up once again as he gushed over the former SuperSport midfield kingpin.

“He is a God-fearing boy and he is clean living his life.

"So he could be a great example to all these boys and to the longevity of their careers.

“Once you surround yourselves with quality people you become a quality person as well.

"I think the more quality players and human beings we have in the team the better the team can be‚” said Da Gama.

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