Mon 12 Aug by Mark Gleeson
Midfielder Kurt Lentjies is now well into “veteran territory”, but remains a crucial cog for Chippa United as they prepare to welcome Mamelodi Sundowns for an Absa Premiership clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow.The 34-year-old was in the colours of the Brazilians a decade ago, part of a stellar Premier Soccer League career in which he has consistently been a top performer without perhaps the accolades he deserves.After spending his early years in the National First Division with FC Cape Town, Fidentia Rangers and Ikapa Sporting, he shot to prominence with the latter who he helped to a shock 3-2 Nedbank Cup win over Bloemfontein Celtic in 2008.The following year he was signed by Sundowns and made 15 appearances in his first season, but failed to crack a regular place in the next.He was sent on loan to Maritzburg United, where he impressed enough to earn a permanent move and blossomed in KwaZulu-Natal as he became a mainstay of their side.He moved to Bloemfontein Celtic for the 2012-13 season and later had another shot at a big Gauteng club when he was snapped up by SuperSport United the following season, but again it did not work out.That prompted another loan move back to Maritzburg in January 2014 and he would spend the next three-and-a-half seasons at the Team of Choice.It was something of a surprise when they allowed him to move to Chippa United for the 2017-18 campaign, and he remains the heartbeat of their midfield with his technical quality on the ball and ability to dictate the tempo of a match.He was involved in some controversy when he collided with Kaizer Chiefs’ Itumeleng Khune in a game in November 2017 which left the goalkeeper with a facial fracture.It created a social media storm as fans took out their ire on him, especially as Bafana Bafana faced crucial back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Senegal in the following weeks."I am here with a concussion and a dislocated shoulder. But that is not as important because I am not Mzansi's number one," he said at the time.
"Am I even a dirty player? Look at my career. I have always been honest and I would never go out to intentionally injure another player."
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