LESOTHO international, Tumelo Khutlang, who plies his trade in the DSTV Premiership for Black Leopards, says his two year stay in Limpopo has been nothing but a roller coaster.
Makhopo, as Khutlang is popularly known, joined the Limpopo outfit two seasons ago and has been struggling to cement his place in the team. This has also been worsened by the side’s chopping and changing of coaches.
Since joining the side, he has worked under Joel Masutha, Dylan Kerr, Lucy Eymael, Lionnel Soccoia and Morgan Shivambu before Patrick Aussems was announced the new head coach last month.
Khutlang, who is awaiting the beginning of his team’s preseason, said his target will be building onto where he left off last season.
“It has been an interesting journey from day one and I was happy that my dream had finally come to pass because I have always dreamt of playing in the South African league,” Khutlang said.
“But just like any job, playing football also comes with lot of challenges especially because of the numerous expectations, so it has not been an easy ride. Nevertheless, I am thankful to God because he has helped me pull through and I must just focus on improving in the next season.”
Leopards has maintained its unsavoury reputation of playing in relegation play-offs and had to go past Ajax Cape Town and Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila in a mini league to secure its premiership status. The side collected all available 12 points.
And Khutlang said the play-offs gave him his worst experience and he now hopes they will not find themselves in a similar position next season.
“It is one of the most hectic situations in football that no player wants to experience because things such as your job and salary are affected…it is the most frustrating situation that one needs to sweat off and aim to win,” he said.
Despite failing to get any significant game-time, the Likuena attacker is unmoved. His is to perform to his best each time he gets an opportunity.
“I have not played as much as I would have loved but my greatest success was building my confidence because every chance I got to play, I gave my best.
“Of course, I was disappointed that I didn’t play that often as the target was to play as many matches as possible to boost my confidence and gaining experience in the premiership while at the same time helping my team.
“I believe there is still room for improvement but I must also be patient, keep working hard and always be ready to play because you never know what happens.”
With two seasons left in his contract, he will continue working hard to impress the new coach.
“I still have two seasons left in my contract and what I must do is work hard especially now that the team has a new coach. I do not know him but mine is to do my job and let the coach do his. I am hopeful that I will finally cement my place in the team,” Khutlang said.