What Next For Ace?
Posted: 11 November 2020
There is a saying in football terms “When It Rains, It Pours”, that is the situation of gifted midfielder Oupa Matthews Ace Manyisa.
The pint-sized playmaker, once the darling of Orlando Pirates Football Club, has seen a bit of a downward spiral since leaving The Sea Robbers in 2017 to join rivals Mamelodi Sundowns FC.
“Oupakie”, as some know him, recently saw his Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila F.C. contract terminated without playing an official game – and to his credit, that was due to the mismanagement of the club.
The Mohlakeng-born playmaker would once upon a time hear the Bucs’ faithful chanting his name, “Aceeeee” at the Orlando Stadium and in all football arena’s in the country, it all sounds like a distant memory now.
Ace, on his day, alongside another talented midfielder, Andile Gattuso Jali, were dubbed the “Danones / Terrible Twins” of Pirates; terrorising oppositions with their telepathic understanding, pass and move, pass and move, silky touches off the ball, running rugged around defenses, and scoring almost at will.
In a packed FNB Stadium in 2011, playing against their biggest rivals The Phefeni Glamour Boys, with the game being played at 120km/h, Ace decided to walk with the ball at his feet in the middle of the park, with both sets of supporters cheering him, which is unheard of in football where opposing supporters cheer you on.
The Stars of Africa academy graduate is still only 32, and can most certainly deliver his heroics of yesteryear, but it will need heart, guile, sacrifice and compromise…Ace, South African football misses you!
Selebalo Karabo Phasha.