Lechesa hangs up his boots

AFTER an illustrious soccer career spanning 15 years, Free State Stars captain Duncan "King" Lechesa has finally hung up his boots.

With the 2010-11 season kicking off on August 7 with the Telkom Charity Cup, Lechesa is pursuing a new career in the beautiful game - this time as a coach.

The highly experienced Lechesa quit the game as a player after a meeting with Stars chairperson Mike Mokoena in Bethlehem on Tuesday.

Mokoena said: "It is true that Duncan is calling it a day as a player and we would like to thank him for his immense contribution to the success of Stars. He has been loyal to the club and led by example as captain. We are happy that he has agreed to remain with us."

Lechesa, who turns 34 on Monday, said he was looking forward to working as a coach at a big-spending side like Stars.

"I would like to thank Bra Mike and his family for giving me the platform to play for Stars, where I served as captain for almost five years.

"I enjoyed every moment of my life as a Stars player and I also want to thank my teammates, the technical staff and supporters for being there for me.

"I want to to register for the Safa coaching courses."

Lechesa, who joined Stars from Black Leopards, started his soccer career at the age of eight at Bloemfontein Celtic.

He later joined National First Division side Bloemfontein Young Tigers, who made history by being the first lower league team to reach the BobSave SuperBowl semifinals in 1998.

At Tigers Lechesa formed a deadly partnership with the likes of Cecil Oersen, Patrick Setlai and the late Abram Raselemane.

Lechesa also played for Ajax Cape Town. His best game was when Stars beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 in 2000.

The worst was when Stars lost to Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup semis in February.