As we are edge nearer to the start of the latest installment of the Absa Premiership season, there are quiet a few things that are almost certain. When the referee blows for the final whistle on the final day of the league’s proceedings, some players will no doubt have made their mark while others would have failed to live up to expectations. With that said, here are some of the players that managed to do both of the aforementioned scenarios.
Excellent Walaza – Orlando Pirates
The Soweto-born striker made a name for himself donning the black and white of Pirates. Dubbed as a national asset and even netted a brace against Kaizer Chiefs. His combination with Teko Modise brought everyone to their feet. However, the 28-year old has since been out of the picture and now plies his trade in the National First Division and is not being recognised as was the case when he was 20.
Phumuzo Manehze – Orlando Pirates
Another Buccaneers striker on the list. At 31 years old, one would expect Manehze to be in his prime, however a man that was once called “The next Lesley Manyathela” finds himself labeled as a fallen star.
Mkhanyiseli Siwahla – Ajax Cape Town
Siwahla was only 16 when he started mesmerising crowds in the Mother City back in 2004. He had all the ingredients of a great player at a young age. At 27 he is a man who was once a target of the top clubs in South African football and abroad but finds himself without a club.
Samuel Julies – Mamelodi Sundowns
This is one name that even Sundowns fans are not familiar with. Remember the 24-0 thumping of Powerlines FC in the Nedbank Cup? Julies was there and even registered two goals to his name. It looked as though he was destined for great things with the club. However he has since been languishing in the first division plying his trade at Vasco Da Gama.
Masibusane Zongo – SuperSport United
A fans favourite, not only for SuperSport fans but for every football fan in South Africa. His skills were somehow out of this world. However parallel to his great skills has always been his alcohol abuse that has seen him moving from one team to another. The 25-year old might still resurrect his career at Platinum Stars but might not be adored as the Zongo we once knew at Matsatsantsa.
Junior Khanye – Kaizer Chiefs
Coincidentally Khanye was born and bred in Daveyton, just as Jabu Mahlangu, Thabiso Malatsi and Michael Nkambule. Khanye was a fans’ favourite at Amakhosi. He represented South Africa at Under-20 and Under-23 levels before scooping a senior cap. He perished from the scene and has since been plying his trade in Swaziland at Malanti Chiefs.
Makhosonke Bhengu (pictured) – Orlando Pirates
While at the Sea Robbers, Bhengu was tipped as the next best thing after Benni McCarthy in South Africa. However the goal poacher failed to reach his full potential and slowly faded away. He now plays in the Thai Premier League for a club called Pattaya United.
These are some of the players that saw their careers taking a turn for the worst. Our league has been both blessed and cursed with great players who saw their careers ending prematurely, this list can stretch as far as the likes of Lucas Thwala, Bhuti Sithole, Thembile Kanono, Lungisani Ndlela, Jacob Tshisevhe and Thapelo Liau. One wonders how great of a league the Premiership would be if all these players had managed to be household names until the day they decided to hang up their boots.