Lebogang Manyama Fact File

Ajax’s Kaka Looking To Improve On Last Season

Lebogang Manyama was the shining light in an otherwise poor 2012/13 season for Ajax Cape Town. 

After he ran rings aroung the Kaizer Chiefs defence in a a league game towards the end of the campaign down in Cape Town, rumours started circulating that Amakhosi were keen to add him to their roster. 

In this interview with Sabie Chili 'Kaka' talks about his inclusion in the national team. 

Full Name: Lebogang Manyama
Date Of Birth: 13 September 1990
Place of birth: Tembisa, Gauteng

Nickname: Kaka

Position: Midfielder
Jersey No: 8

Current Club: Ajax Cape Town

Previous Clubs: 
Alexandra Unted (amateur)
Balfour Park FC(amateur) 
FC Alex (Vodacom League)

Honours: 4 Caps Bafana Bafana

Hola Kaka! Let’s first talk about the issue of George and John Comitis selling their Ajax Cape Town shares to the Efstathiou family and leaving the club. How did the players react to it? 
Nah man, everything has been normal. They came in and spoke to us about what was happening. I guess we’re just soccer players, so we just have to do our jobs. As for what’s happening in the boardroom, I don’t really think it concerns any of us.

Cool. Last season was stressful for everyone involved with the club… 
Look, man it was very tough. It’s never easy being down there, you know, but, ja, I think we learnt our lesson and this season we have to start collecting results from the beginning. We need to play the kind of football we played in the last five or six games last season. Everyone knows that when you are losing games, the confidence goes down, and I think when Muhsin Ertugral came in, he kept on reminding us how good we were and made us feel good about ourselves. From that time, we started believing in each other a bit more and everything just fell into place. Everybody knows that he’s a tough coach, but he’s also got a nice side, you know what I mean? He shows everyone that he believes in them and still makes you feel that you are part of the team. It’s been great working under him and he’s helped a lot of guys in the team. He came in at the right time and the results showed. 

A lot of people were impressed with you last season. 
I can say that the last 10 games were very good on my side, but as for the rest of the season, it wasn’t really up to scratch. I struggled a lot with the injuries and I also had personal problems at home. All of that stuff kept me going backwards. But in the last 10 games I did my best and it all went well. 

Tell us about the personal problems. 
My mother passed away. 

That’s sad. We’re sorry to hear about that, my broda. Were you surprised by all the interest shown in you from the bigger PSL clubs? 
No, I can’t say I was surprised. After playing like that, I expected something like that. If you play well, then obviously there have to be teams that will be looking at you. I can say that through the hard work that I put in at that time, I managed to attract interest.

Gordon Igesund included you in the squad to do battle in the COSAFA Cup. Did you expect the call-up? And now you are a regular call-up. 
Nah, I can’t say…actually, many people have been  asking me if I expected it. I didn’t expect it, you know especially if you look at how things have been going with Bafana Bafana and the core of the team. They have been doing very well, so I kinda thought it was going to take more to get there. For me it’s a real honour to go and represent the country. I’d answer that call any day because playing for Bafana is a dream. All those players who play for Bafana started in the COSAFA Cup. I hear people saying it’s not the biggest cup and stuff like that, but if you look at most of the players that were successful with Bafana and played locally, they started there. I’m hoping to take the next step in my career and give it my all when I get there.

Lastly, what are your ambitions for the new season? 
I want to play well from day one to the last game and score a bit more. My aim is always to help the team. 

Kaka, thanks for your time and all the best with the national team and Urban Warriors. 
Alright sure. I just want to thank the Ajax fans for being loyal. They have been the best! They have been there through the best times and they have also been there through the worst times. I think it’s through their support that we managed to make it through last season. I think one of the most important games last season was the one we played away against Maritzburg United. They travelled from Cape Town to Maritzburg to watch us and that gave us an extra boost. I’d like to thank them for everything and for the belief they showed in me personally. I just want to tell them that the new season is going to be a different season and many people will be surprised.

Interview by Sabie Chili for Soccer Betting News