June 23, 2021

Manyathela’s mom backs Kapinga for Sundowns success

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The highly-rated attacker joined Masandawana after he was linked with his late cousin Lesley’s former club, Orlando Pirates, and SuperSport United

The mother of former Orlando Pirates marksman Lesley Manyathela has backed her nephew Lesedi Kapinga to excel at Mamelodi Sundowns.

The 25-year-old winger has become one of the hottest properties in the Premier Soccer League after impressing at Black Leopards in the current season. 

Kapinga’s late cousin, Lesley once looked destined to become of the greatest strikers in the history of the PSL until he tragically died in a car accident in August 2003, aged 21.

Lesley was coming off a successful 2002/03 season in which he inspired Pirates to the PSL title and he also scooped the Golden Boot award after scoring 18 goals. 

His mother Gladys understands that there is the pressure that comes with playing for a big club, but she believes Kapinga has what it takes to play for the reigning PSL champions Sundowns. 

“The sports [football] is in the family and what I wish is for him to go forward. I want him to show the world out there that he can make it,” Gladys told Far Post.  “Right now, he is at Sundowns and I wish him the best. 

“I want him to play the football that he knows and show the world that he can do it.”

Nicknamed Slow Poison, Lesley was a Bafana Bafana international having played nine international matches for his country, and hit the back of the net three times.

Gladys hopes Kapinga emulates his son by playing for Bafana at some point in his career. 

“I will be proud to see him selected in the squad [Bafana],” she added. “I wish him the best and I pray for him that really, God should prosper him.”

The PSL award for the top goalscorer was renamed the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot in Lesley’s honour following his death.

The national team also temporarily retired the number 19 jersey which Manyathela had previously worn.

While Pirates retired his jersey, number 22, as a sign of respect for the Limpopo-born frontman, who underwent trials with French Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyonnais in 2003.

Kapinga will only be able to make his official debut for Sundowns in the new 2020/21 PSL campaign because he cannot be registered by his new club until then.

The 2019/20 PSL season which was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 is set to resume later this month.