Absa Premiership

Kekana lauds Downs special year

2016-12-30 17:59
Hlompho Kekana (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana has reflected on a hugely successful 2016, claiming it's the best year he's ever had in his professional football career.

The Chloorkop based-outfit clinched the 2015/16 Premiership title, the club's maiden CAF Champions League title, as well as participating in the FIFA Club World Cup, and Kekana, who was handed the armband earlier this year, says he is inspired to lead a team of this calibre.

"2016 has been a good year for us a team, and personally I’d say that it’s a year I’ll never forget," he told FIFA's website.

"Lifting the [Caf] Champions League was huge and then to be playing at the Club World Cup was an even bigger step for us as a team. Competing at that level is always special. Every player in the world wants to take part in the Club World Cup.

"It inspires me a lot to captain a team like this. Mamelodi Sundowns are an ambitious team and we work hard on and off the field. I’m very privileged to work with his group," he added.

The 31-year-old highlighted the need to keep their momentum going in the new year, while expressing his joy at being nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award for his amazing effort against Cameroon in an African Cup Of Nations qualifying tie in March.

"I think we are making our own little bit of history and it’s important to keep working, grinding and looking for more and more," he continued.

"It was special to get recognition from FIFA for the goal. I never thought that one day I’d be nominated for the Puskas Award by FIFA, but it happened.

"It was a special goal and one that is still unbelievable in my eyes. I still can’t believe I’m the one who scored it. 2016 was a great year for me and I’m proud of my work over the years, I’m reaping the rewards now."

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