Edward Manqele - Fact File

Edward Manqele took the PSL by storm when he emerged as a promising player in the 2011/12 season. The player’s performances made him a regular under Steve Komphela at Free State Stars.

 Manqele scored 11 goals in 27 league starts for Stars, an achievement that earned him a move to Mamelodi Sundowns.

 In this interview with Sabie Chili, the Randfontein-born player talks openly about his lack of game time at Sundowns, his weight issues and his desire to start all over again at Moroka Swallows.

Personal Information
Full names: Edward Jabulani Manqele
Date of birth: 16 June 1987
Place of birth: Randfontein

Nickname: Hlokoloza
Jersey no: 20
Position: Striker

Club: Moroka Swallows
Previous Clubs:
Trabzon FC (amateur)
Free State Stars
Mamelodi Sundowns

Honours: 2011/12 Free State Stars top goalscorer

Hi, Manqele, were you aware that you will join Moroka Swallows on loan from Sundowns?
Eish man, the news came as a shock to me because I didn`t know that I would join Swallows. I`m happy that I came to Swallows because I am a regular and scoring goals, but I need to work hard to cement my place in the starting line-up.

What do you mean you didn`t know? It sounds like you were not aware of your loan move to Swallows.
It was not discussed with me. I went to training with the club and I was told that I had to report Swallows. I was shocked because it`s something that came up at that time. Yogesh Singh and Mike Ntombela broke the news to me that I should report for training at Swallows. I guess that`s how they do things. When I heard about it, I called my agent and asked her what was going on, she told me that there were no discussions about me leaving the club when she spoke to Pitso earlier. It happened that it wasn`t to be.

Okay, was your confidence low when you were not playing at Mamelodi Sundowns?
It was low. It hurts when you are not playing and are sitting in the stands. Your confidence goes down. I am happy that I came to Swallows, I just need to work hard. Lerato Chabangu is doing well at the club. Katlego Mashego did very well, when he worked hard when he was still in the team and scoring goals, he was the top goalscorer. Hopefully I will follow from where he left.

You mention Katlego Mashego. He was not just the club`s top scorer, but also the league`s highest scorer last season. Doesn`t that put pressure on you?
Not much. I don`t want to put myself under pressure because I will end up making mistakes. The coach told me to play football and find my feet again. I will just try to play my normal game without putting pressure on myself just because Mashego was the top goalscorer at Swallows and in the league. I know that maybe the supporters are expecting something from me. Hopefully I won`t disappoint. All I want is to play because I didn`t play much at Sundowns. I wasn`t given my fair chance. I`m hoping to excel at Swallows.

When did you realise that you had gained weight at Sundowns, and how many kilograms did you have to lose?
It became a problem when I started gaining weight because the coach ended up not playing me.  I had to lose weight. But I have lost some kilos now. I`m not struggling like in the past. I`m sharper again. As a player one needs to be professional, and that`s what I`m doing now. I want to play, not sit around not doing anything. That`s not what I want.

What did you do wrong when you were not playing that resulted in you gaining weight?
Some people say maybe it`s food and all that. I don`t know what went wrong for me to gain weight, but I also noticed that I gained weight.

Maybe the money was coming in fast.
No, no, it`s not about money. A person can gain weight without knowing the cause, and that`s what happened to me.

When we first heard about Manqele, you were  a quick player who was scoring goals in your first season in the PSL. What did you do right, that other players failed to do over the years, to adjust quickly to the professional ranks?
It was all about team effort at Stars. We worked hard for each other. My teammates knew what kind of player I was. As a striker, your teammates need to understand how you play. The midfielders need to know how to pass well for you to score. That`s what made me the player I am today. I was scoring goals because of team effort.

Eddie, thanks for talking to us openly. We wish you everything of the best this season.