It might not have been a successful season, but Lebogang Manyama believes he learned a lot tactically in adversity in Turkey, and that he can bring that experience back to add value to Kaizer Chiefs.
Manyama made a decent, if rusty, debut for Amakhosi against former club Cape Town City on Saturday.
He was part of a 4-1 Premiership thrashing of the Citizens at Cape Town Stadium that just might be a turnaround to new coach Giovanni Solinas’s nervy start at Chiefs.
Manyama will hope for more game time when Chiefs, who followed up the win against City with Tuesday night’s 2-0 victory with a near-B team against Free State Stars at Goble Park, meet AmaZulu at FNB Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 6pm).
It took three-and-a-half weeks from Manyama’s signing on a free transfer from Konyaspor to be introduced into a game at Amakhosi. Manyama had to be nursed to match fitness having not played in six months, arriving at Chiefs from a 2017-2018 season in which the forward made just 10 league and cup appearances for Konyaspor.
'Three coaches, one season'
Asked to explain why, Manyama said: "Three coaches in one season — it can never be easy. It was a learning curve. It was tough. But you have to get through those kinds of things in life. And obviously you are very grateful for the opportunity. I came out a better man, and came out a better player.
"And it’s something that I wouldn’t say I’ve put in the past, but something that I went through, and in every bad situation I always try to get the positives. And I think I became a better player because obviously the standard there is a bit higher.
"You get better tactically and better technically and you know where to move on the field much better. Because here in SA we know that it’s end-to-end stuff in most of the games. But there it’s more tactical.
"And you realise a few things there: that football is not just about [running at] 200km/h, and actually you just have to move one step and you can get all the space that you want.
"I made sure that I tried to learn as much as possible. And hopefully I can bring it back and add value to the team."
AmaZulu — in ninth place with two wins, two defeats and a draw so far — showed what a tough team they are to crack with a 3-3 draw against Mamelodi Sundowns in Umlazi in their previous fixture.