Thursday, 18 September 2014

Great Daine: South Africa's most decorated footballer promises: No goalless draw in the Soweto Durbsy!

High flier: Daine Klaite, 13 winners' medals
DAINE KLATE has a bit of an appetite for silverware. He's the little wide man who won THREE SUCCESSIVE league titles with SuperSports United before decamping to Orlando Pirates and winning TWO TREBLES.

Add to that last season's Nedbank Cup and you get the drift. By my calculations he has 13 major winners' medals, more than any other player currently playing at the top level in South Africa. When he talks (or tweets) it's best to listen (or read).

The 29-year-old, discovered as a 15-year-old playing for Glenville Celtic in Port Elizabeth (he came through the Transnet Academy with a bloke called Steven Pienaar),  was tweeting boldly during the week about the joy of teams who play to win rather than trying to avoid defeat in the European Champions League.

Though some had a go (as they do on twitter) Klaite had hit the nail on the head. South African football is plagued by cautious coaches who live in fear of the sack. Buses are parked, defensive midfielders abound, goals are rare, though there ARE signs of a revival this season.

But when Pirates play unbeaten PSL leaders Kaizer Chiefs in the R8m MTN8 Final at the Moses Mabhida on Saturday night (kick-off 8.15pm) Klate is determined to put his twinkle where his tweet is.

The "Soweto Durbsy" in recent years has failed to inspire despite drawing full houses around South Africa and Klate insists: “We would hate it to be a dull game you know, with the score 0-0 and there's only one shot at goal, but we can't shy away from going out to attack the opposition.

“We always try to go forward, we always try to score - and hopefully Chiefs will do the same.”

Which is great from a man known for his quick feet and uncanny ability to seek out the reasonably deadly Buccaneering strike duo of Kermit Erasmus and Lehlohonolo Majoro in the embryonic weeks of the new season.

After a slow start, Pirates are up to third in the PSL with many calling for Kermit and Major to play together rather than in shifts as the vamped Vladimir Vermecovic seeks to build on last season's Nedbank Cup success, which came after final defeats under Roger de Sa in the MTN8, TelkomKO and African Champions League.

As they head for an unprecedented FIFTH successful cup final, Klaite insists: “For me personally I’d love to have a game similar to when we played against Sundowns, where we had two teams really going at each other.

“A match like the one against Masandawana was great for me, and not only because we won, but because of the football we played. That’s the type of game that we would like to give the supporters every time, but obviously it doesn’t always happen like that,.

“In the back of my mind that would be an ideal final, but we have to entertain within discipline and within structure.

"When we wake up on Saturday morning in Durban, everybody will be ready for the final. You can't predict things but the only promise we can give to fans is that we will give 100 percent and more if need be."

Saturday's top-eight conclusion will be Pirates's fifth cup final in a row. The Buccaneers lifted the Nedbank Cup trophy in May after finishing runners-up in the 2013/14 MTN8, Telkom Knockout and Caf Champions League.

“In cup competitions we have a winning mentality, we have momentum. When VV arrived here last season, he came at a very difficult stage, psychologically.

“To reach a final is a big step. He came in and told us that we were doing well when the players were all looking forward to the off season. He said we were good at reaching cup finals, he was good at winning them. And we did.”

SOCCERBALLZ! my innovative football show on with Mark Fish airs every Thursday from 9am-11am. See Ballz' Youtube channel for our growing library of fascinating football interviews with the big names.

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Rowen Fernandez, the Bidvest Wits goalkeeper, scored the own goal winner AND was voted Man of the Match against Orlando Pirates on Saturday. Thought you might like to see THIS effort in the Bundesliga from Rowen:

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