A combined 17 appearances for veterans Kennedy Mweene and Sibusiso Vilakazi so far this season is not something to be proud of as the Zambian goalkeeper has turned out eight times while “Vila” only played nine games for Mamelodi Sundowns this season.
The little involvement makes one question their future at the club as the age factor is not on their side.
Mweene will celebrate his 38th birthday in November and Vilakazi is turning 33 in December. However, their head coach, Manqoba Mngqithi is one to turn a blind eye to age, insisting that if a player meets his criteria, they have a place in his team.
“Mweene has done very well and we are very excited with how he has performed this season. I am not one person who looks at the age when it comes to players,” said Mngqithi.
“I see South Africa has made a lot of mistakes in that space of jumping into looking at how old the person is instead of looking at what that person is doing at the point in time. For goalkeepers, they can go all the way and based on his performances there is a very big chance that he will stay with us. He is very important for the team. We are happy with what we have seen,” Mngqithi added.
The Downs mentor went on to hint that Vilakazi’s future at the club is a matter on the agenda, but does not want to give any hints on how the deliberations will go. The former Bafana Bafana player’s contract with the club will expire in 2024 but with Masandawana’s fat purse, “Vila” can easily be bought out of his contract.
“It is true, Vila has not played many games this season which should be a big concern for me as a coach and a big concern for him as a player. But the truth of the matter is that we know his quality and what he can give us. Unfortunately from time to time he gets injured and he finds it difficult to come into the team.
“It is not in our control and it is very difficult for everyone and it is even worse if the player feels he deserves to play more than what we have given him. But he has not raised that concern because he understands his situation. We have not made a decision on that regard,” said Mngqithi.