History beckons for Chiefs

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“Of course the main aim is to win the league, but if we can create some records then why not? It would be nice to look back at the season and see all those other little achievements that we got along the way,” says the Amakhosi skipper.

One of those that will make the Chiefs defender view the season with some pride is to win the championship with a record points total.

Mamelodi Sundowns set a new 16-team Premiership record of 65 points when they unseated Chiefs from the throne last season. With four matches left of the season and standing on 60 points, Stuart Baxter’s team are in a position to smash that tally to smithereens.

And Mashamaite is willing his team to go for it.

“We lead (the championship race) from the start and went 19 matches unbeaten. That was very good and now we can even set further records and that’s what we want to do.”

First though they must reclaim the league title from Sundowns by beating Polokwane City at the FNB Stadium tonight.

It is a tricky match against a highly unpredictable side that was only the third side to get a point from a marauding Chiefs in the first half of the season, Mashamaite’s hometown team holding Amakhosi goalless at the Peter Mokaba Stadium back in November.

He knows they’ll be hard to beat will Kosta Papic’s team does Mashamaite: “They have scored more goals (than most teams), but they have also conceded more. So if they score three, we will beat them 4-3.”

We’re at Chiefs’ village in Naturena and Mashamaite is addressing the media pack ahead of what should be “Coronation Wednesday” for Amakhosi.

Over time since taking over the captaincy from Itumeleng Khune, Mashamaite has broken out of his shell – his eloquent interviews a welcome relief from the usual mono-syllabic answers most of his counterparts often treat the media to.

He was particularly in his element as he anticipated tonight’s ‘crowning’, Mashamaite spewing analogies that left his interviewers gasping in surprise.

When he was asked whether Chiefs had ever begun worrying that there could be a repeat of last season’s dramatic choking, Mashamaite’s retort was a classic. “Had we gotten worried about going back to apartheid since South Africa got democracy then we probably would have gone back,” he said with a straight face.

With Baxter returning to the bench following his suspension a question was put to Mashamaite as to whether the team missed their coach.

“In every aspect of society there has to be structure. Even in a family, if the father is not there the children need to know that they have to wake up and take a bath and go to school,” he responded before explaining that they knew exactly what to do in Baxter’s absence from the technical area because Doctor Khumalo, the assistant coach who was in charge, knew what needed to be done.

He was not finished though, Mashamaite speaking of Chiefs’ success coming from their team effort because “the strength of the wolf is in the pack and this wolf (Chiefs) has been hunting nicely and on Wednesday we hope to have something to bring home”. - The Star

Original source: History beckons for Chiefs

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