Kaizer Chiefs academy coach Tshidiso Letsholonyane has revealed what he plans to achieve with the club.
The retired midfielder was nurtured in the Amakhosi academy and played for the reserve team before he was promoted to the first team in 2011.
Letsholonyane was part of the Chiefs first team at the same time as his older brother, Reneilwe, after signing a three-year deal, but the club decided to loan him out.
“I started playing football at the age of eight and joined the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development in 2009. I played for the under-19 team and then moved to the reserve team a year later," Letsholonyane told the club's official website.
“I was loaned out to a National First Division side Dynamos FC. I was there for a season but didn’t get that much of a game-time though. It was a disappointing experience for me but I never looked back. I continued to focus on the future.
“I came back to Chiefs from the loan spell and spent the last two years of my contract in the reserves team where I enjoyed my football and we won the SAB league. The Kaizer Chiefs U-19 was coached by legend Ace Khuse when we won the SAB League in 2013/14 season.”
Letsholonyane parted ways with the Soweto giants in 2014 after his contract with the club expired, but his career was hampered by injuries
“I went on to try my luck at another National First Division side Thanda Royal Zulu. I struggled to secure a contract due to a recurring knee injury," he added
In 2017 Letsholonyane retired from professional football and decided to pursue a coaching career and Amakhosi offered him a chance to do his practical training in their academy.
“I felt I no longer had the desire to play football and that’s when I decided to take a different route. I decided to go to school and do a short course to help kick start any role in a football environment," he revealed.
"I did a Sports Coaching Science course with Trifocus Fitness Academy. As part of the course, I was expected to do practicals and shadowing in a football environment. I am glad Kaizer Chiefs offered me the opportunity to do my practical in the Development Academy.
“My passion for coaching grew from there onward. I proceeded to do coaching badges with Safa Coaching Education. I decided from there on to pursue a career as a coach.”
The 28-year-old played with the likes of Hendrick Ekstein, Zitha Macheke and Kgotso Malope in the Chiefs reserve team.
“I’m glad to have witnessed the promotion of my reserves teammates to the first team. I saw Hendrick Ekstein [now with Sabail FK in Azerbaijan], Zitha Macheke [now with Bidvest Wits] and Kgotso Malope [now with Richards Bay FC] gaining promotion to the senior team," he said.
Letsholonyane is currently in charge of the club's under-17 team and he is planning on securing a Uefa Coaching Badge.
"And, as a coach, I saw Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Njabulo Blom, and Happy Mashiane promoted to our senior team. I am happy to see football changing lives of these youngsters," he continued.
Furthermore, the former PJ Stars player hopes that he will ascend to be at the helm of coaching the first team.
“Hopefully one day I will help to be part of the successful history of Amakhosi. I want to repay the club for everything they have done for me and my family."