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‘Yeye’ Letsholonyane’s impact: Three SA 20 players share insights

Three highly-rated South Africa Under-20 players have shed light on the positive influence former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane has brought to the youth team.

Letsholonyane, a legend of SA football, recently joined the Amajita coaching staff, and it seems his presence is already inspiring the next generation of Mzansi footballers.

The retired star was appointed as Amajita’s second assistant coach to Raymond Mdaka. Donald Mojaki of Sol Plaatje University is the first assistant, and Karabo Mogudi from the University of Johannesburg is the third assistant

Last week, Amajita were in camp in Gauteng. About 40 youngsters were called up for assessment that will form the Under-20 national team.

Youngsters Luphumlo Sifumba, Mfundo Vilakazi and Shandre Campbell expressed their delight to work with a legend in the game. Letsholonyane was part of the Bafana Bafana 2010 FIFA World Cup squad that was hosted in South Africa.

Besides playing for Chiefs, ‘Yeye’ also played for Jomo Cosmos, Highlands Park, SuperSport United, and TS Galaxy. During his playing days, he won eight titles. At Chiefs, he clinched two league titles: one MTN8 and one Telkom Knockout [now called Carling Knockout]. With SuperSport, he won one Nedbank Cup and one MTN8.


Reneilwe Letsholonyane on the pitch with SA U20s during training
Reneilwe Letsholonyane on the pitch with SA U20s. Picture by SAFA

Sifumba says Letsholonyane has brought in a mentality that pushes every player to have a successful football career.

“I think coach ‘Yeye’ comes with a mentality like the one he had when he used to play,” said Sifumba. “He wants us to succeed in football like he did. I think he has something for us.”

Whereas Vilakazi added that, Letsholonyane taught them to express themselves on the pitch and play football, which made them comfortable.

“He tells us not to panic. But to play the kind of football that we know, play something that will make you comfortable and that if you have to do a ‘no-look’ pass you have to do it.”

Meanwhile Campbell revealed that Letsholonyane brings in his experience in helping the youngsters to play well.

“Coach Yeye tells us how to play and not to be scared, sometimes to go long or sometimes to go short [passes],” said Campbell. “Since he’s an experienced ex-midfielder, he knows everything, so we just learn and take it one day at a time.”

RELATED STORY: Reneilwe Letsholonyane reacts to being appointed AmaZulu U17 coach

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