Richard Henyekane - Fact File

Henyekane Expects Free State Stars To Improve This Season

After moving from Golden Arrows to Mamelodi Sundowns in 2010, Richard Henyekane found it difficult to really make his mark. Midway through last season he was loaned to Free State Stars, and he has subsequently been sold to Ea Lla Koto. Henekanye explains why he chose the Bethlehem-based side over Maritzburg United.

Personal Information
Full Names: Richard Tebogo Henyekane
Date of birth: 28 September 1983
Place of birth: Kimberley, Northen Cape
Nickname: Kimberley Express
Position: Striker
Jersey no: 83
Club: Free State Stars
Previous Clubs: 
Basotho Tigers (Vodacom league)
Benoni United
Golden Arrows
Mamelodi Sundowns

Honours: 2009/10 MTN8 winner with Golden Arrows, 9 Bafana caps

Kimberley Express, you were linked with a move to Maritzburg United, but we heard that you changed your mind and went for Ea Lla Koto. Why was that?
Well it certainly helped that I played for Stars last season but it wasn’t an easy decision to make. At the end of the day, I had to go to where my happiness lies and follow my heart. I’m a family man so I had to consider all the possibilities of remaining close to home and my family.

Although you finished 14th on the PSL log, you helped Stars escape relegation. Did that influence your decision to join them?
Besides that, Stars were the club interested in my services even before I joined them in January on a loan deal. I had to go back to Sundowns at the end of the season, but the choice was mine. I had to choose where I’d like to continue playing my football, and Stars was the ideal choice for me.

It was unusual for Ea Lla Koto to finish as low on the log as they did. What do you think led to the poor run last season?
I don’t know my man, honestly. You will remember that I joined the team on a six month loan and I can’t really say what went wrong. I don’t want to talk too much about that. All I know is that we escaped relegation zone.

Let’s talk about Sundowns, you once said Pitso Mosimane told you to work hard and enjoy yourself at Stars. Seeing that you did well, what was his reaction when you returned?
Nothing much. He welcomed us back and said he was looking forward to working with us again and that we must work hard. I think it wasn’t meant to be for me, hence I now play for Stars.

Do you see your inability to secure a regular place at Downs as a failure?
I cannot dwell much on what happened at Downs. I must move on because my focus now is at Stars and doing very well for them. As a player, you need to know that a coach has his way of doing things and he has his plans, which unfortunately never worked for me but I must accept that as a player.

Okay, do you feel the club are missing guys like Mbuyiselo Sambu, Luyolo Nomandela and Tshepo Motsoaneng?
These guys left and I don’t want to talk about them. Let’s talk about the current teammates who are here at the club.

Do you feel that the club has brought in enough talent, introducing guys like Moffat Mdluli and Daouda Diakite?
Every player who joins Free State Stars is a great player. I believe that the guys are aware of the challenge ahead. I believe, from what I’ve seen that they will all be of value to the club. They deserve to play for a PSL team like Stars. I don’t doubt their ability because some of them are experienced. The management would not just sign any player without having watched them play.

What was your relationship with coach Mosimane like?
I didn’t have any problems with him. I had a good relationship with him as my coach and we respected each other.

And to Ea Lla Koto supporters, do you have any message?
Let’s just work together as players and supporters and see what we can achieve at the end of the season. I’m hoping for better things this season and they must keep coming to cheer us on.