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I want a team that will appreciate me: ex-Sundowns star Lesedi Kapinga

Bafana Bafana player Lesedi Kapinga during the 2023 Cosafa Cup semifinal against Zambia in King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on July 14 2023.
Bafana Bafana player Lesedi Kapinga during the 2023 Cosafa Cup semifinal against Zambia in King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on July 14 2023.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Lesedi Kapinga says he wants to join a club that will appreciate him more, as the talented player looks to return to his best. 

After becoming an unhappy camper at Sundowns, where he played 157 minutes last season, Kapinga has been released by the Chloorkop-based outfit and is free to join a club of his choice. 

The 28-year-old arrived at Masandawana as a highly-rated player after he impressed at Black Leopards. 

The player was not able to replicate that form at Sundowns where he made 39 appearances in three years. He mostly played from the bench when he wasn’t reduced to a spectator. 

Kapinga asserts even such a tough period did not deter his spirit and he will reach his true potential. If anything, he said, the time at Sundowns made him streetwise and gave him the knowledge to be careful choosing his next career destination. 

“Mentally, maybe it got me in a good space. I believe I have learnt a lot, so I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing,” Kapinga said. 

“Maybe I had to go through such a thing for me to be strong as a player and also to grow as a human being. So I just take it as a lesson and be wise [in future].

Asked if he tried to reach out to coach Rulani Mokwena and the technical team at Downs to find out the reasons he was battling for game time, Kapinga said he didn’t want to question anyone.

“I just feel like sometimes it’s good not to know a lot of things about it. If Sundowns works for other players, it doesn’t mean it will work for me,” Kapinga said. 

“I just must focus on my career and build myself again.” 

Many have called for Kapinga to join Kaizer Chiefs as they feel he could play an important role in helping the ailing Soweto giants reclaim their glory days. 

“I leave that to my agent, and I will speak to him maybe from Monday when I get to Joburg,” he said. 

“I feel like right now it’s only a matter of me getting in a space where I’m going to play. [I want] a team that is going to appreciate me.” 

Kapinga has been part of Bafana Bafana’s Cosafa Cup team that fell at the semifinal hurdle with their 2-1 defeat to Zambia on Friday evening. 

South Africa face Malawi in the battle for third place at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Sunday (3pm). 

“It has been a great experience for me to be here. It gave me a chance to play as well because I have not been playing for a long time,” he said. 

“I feel like Cosafa gave me a belief that I can do more as a player. I really think I needed this one. I needed to be at camp with the guys.” 

Sunday's third-place playoff will be followed by the final between defending champions Zambia and underdogs Lesotho at the same venue (6pm).


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