JOHANNESBURG, September 11 – Oupa Manyisa’s decision to join the reigning African champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, was inspired by a desire to grow and take his football to the next level.
The 29-year-old midfielder signed with the Brazilians last month to end an almost decade long stay at Orlando Pirates where he reached the finals of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup – losing both finals.
“Ace”, as Manyisa is affectionately known, brings a wealth of continental football experience to a Sundowns’ team that’s looking to retain the CAF Champions League crown they lifted last year.
“As a player you have to grow,” Manyisa said. “I took the path of growing by coming here. I will grow as a player here because I know that I have to start afresh and fight for my place in the team”
“It’s part of life. If I didn’t want to grow as a player I would have said that I don’t want to go anywhere, I just want to sit where I was already at and everything would be simple for me. I decided to go because there are some players who want to play football who were coming after me.
“I also felt that I wouldn’t be doing justice to the younger boys there if I stayed and blocked their progress. I had to leave so that they can start growing and make names for themselves. I also want to take my football to the next level which is why I joined an ambitious team like Sundowns that wants to win everything.”
Manyisa has made a seamless transition to the Sundowns’ midfield. He will be looking to continue doing that on Monday night against Free State Stars in the Absa Premiership.
What has made Manyisa adapt well to life at Sundowns is that he is a workaholic just like coach Pitso Mosimane.
“It’s a nice atmosphere working with him because he lives football,” Manyisa said. “Everything about him is football. It shows in how he works and the results that the club has achieved.”
“When you join his (Mosimane) team, you come here to live football. You don’t just come here, train and go to the game. You have to live football 24/7. I am also like that. It’s easier for me to even handle the assignments he gives us of studying our games and our opponents.
“That’s what I have been doing all these years. Sitting home, watching football and analysing my opponents.”
– African News Agency (ANA)