Speaking to Phakaaathi at the weekend, Manqele said he ignored those who said he was committing a career suicide when he joined National First Division (NFD) side, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at the start of the season when there were still teams in the Absa Premiership who were showing an interest.
“There will always be talk. Some people may think it was a step back in my career for me to join and NFD team but I didn’t take it that way. I wanted to go there and play football. What anyone else says is their opinion and it doesn’t pay my bills,” he said.
Manqele has played a pivotal role at Tshakhuma who are in with a chance to qualify for the playoffs. Tshakhuma are fifth on the standings with 44 points, five shy of leaders Stellenbosch with three games to go.
“We have to be patient and take it per game. It will be more difficult now because every team is fighting for something. I think it will be decided on the last day because the team at the top still have to play each other. We have a good squad.
“We have 44 point and they are on 49, we can catch up to them because they are now struggling. We are hoping that a miracle happens. But we have to make sure we win all our remaining games. Getting automatic promotion would be a bonus for us.”
If Tshakhuma make the playoffs, they are might come up against his former side Stars. “It is sad that they are in that situation. When I was last there they were in that similar situation. I know meeting a former team would bring back emotions but if it happens I will have to go there and do my job and we can talk about the old times after the game.”
To read more on Manqele and what keeps him going, don’t miss out as we profile him on Phakaaathi (free inside the Citizen newspaper) next Tuesday, April 23.