‘Oupa Manyisa and George Lebese are not finished’: Junior Khanye

24 August 2021 - 13:40 By mahlatse mphahlele
Football analyst Junior Khanye says George Lebese and Oupa Manyisa are not finished.
Football analyst Junior Khanye says George Lebese and Oupa Manyisa are not finished.

The DStv premiership season has started with the notable absence of Oupa “Ace” Manyisa and George Lebese, but controversial analyst Junior Khanye says it is premature to write them off.

The 33-year-old Manyisa and 32-year-old Lebese, who are former Bafana Bafana star midfielders, are currently without clubs and Khanye believes they can still revive their careers.

Khanye said Manyisa, who last played for Chippa United last season, has a better chance of finding a club. But it’s going to be difficult for Lebese, who last played competitively more than a year ago for the Switchbacks in the US.

“Their careers are definitely not over. In SA football when you are over 30 years old they say you are finished,” said the outspoken former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder.

Khanye said Manyisa can fit in at ball-playing clubs like Swallows and Cape Town City.

“There was no way he was going to play under Gavin Hunt at Chippa United because coach Hunt doesn’t like players like him. At Bidvest Wits, coach Hunt released a player like Xola Mlambo, who is a ballplayer like Ace.

“One of the few teams that I think Oupa can go to is Swallows or Cape Town City. I still believe that he can still offer a lot to our game because he is not a bad player, and he is highly experienced.

“His other advantage is that he doesn’t need to be represented by agents because he is a well-known player who has been around for many years.”

Though Khanye is optimistic about Manyisa, he is concerned about Lebese who unsuccessfully tried his luck with Sekhukhune United and Swallows during the off-season.

“As for Lebese, his career is also not over as he can still play at the highest level here in SA, but to be honest I don’t think he has done enough. There are many things that I expected from George, but he didn’t achieve them.

“I don’t understand why he failed to play under Pitso Mosimane, who believes in ball players, and he is an honest coach who likes to win. It is going to be tough for him and if he doesn’t get a club in the PSL he must go to the GladAfrica Championship and start afresh there.

“I have watched him play since he was at Chiefs, Sundowns and at SuperSport, and I don’t think he has done enough to be honest. The other issue is that he hasn’t played in a long time and I am not sure what his state of fitness is at the moment.”