Mashamaite gives SuperSport defence a bit more steel


But when he asked to be paid the part, he was painted as greedy in protracted contractual negotiations that ended with him joining Swedish side Hacken in August. After just one year there, where he finally realised his dream of playing overseas, he has returned to home to reunite with coach Stuart Baxter at SuperSport United. Mashamaite described the move to Sweden as a good break for him then, moving away ‘from the scrutiny and the public. Not that I was running away’.

He is also not running away from Sweden. He dismissed suggestions he returned to SA because he was home-sick, as Hacken’s sporting director Sonny Karlsson alleged.

“I am 31,” Mashamaite said. “My journey right now isn’t about staying overseas or wherever for long to realise certain expectations. It’s about what’s in front of me. The SuperSport United opportunity came and I had to make a decision. It wasn’t about being home sick or anything like that. It was just about what’s in front of me. Let me make a decision. Whether I am in Sweden or here, as long as I am positive and want to achieve something, then I am where I should be. The experience in Sweden was short but great. We won the Swedish Cup, which was for the first time in the history of Hacken. To come back with that bit of achievement is a confidence booster. I felt like I went there and contributed something. It didn’t have to be five years or 10 years. That’s what we are here for, to experience things.”

Mashamaite can get down to business with Matsatsantsa a Pitori as early as their next match against Chippa United in two weeks. Baxter declared him fit after he recovered from the injury he picked up in March. That injury side-lined him for the most part of the Swedish league that ends in November. Mashamaite was supposed to leave Hacken when it ended and sign with SuperSport in the January transfer window. But he pleaded with the Tshwane side to fast-track the move. Matsatsantsa ended up paying a ‘fair and reasonable price’ for him as the club’s CEO Stan Matthews put it.

In Mashamaite, SuperSport have signed a leader who is expected to help 19-year-old Denwin Farmer grow. Both of these players are left-footed centrebacks. But Farmer can be moved to fullback to accommodate Mashamaite who is likely to partner Mario Booysen when he is 100 percent fit. Morgan Gould and Clayton Daniels are the club's other centrebacks along with the young Athenkosi Dlala.

The way SuperSport have assembled their squad, starting with a solid defence that has towering centrebacks who can score from and defend set-pieces, is similar to how Baxter built the all-conquering Chiefs of two seasons ago. But Baxter has warned his former Amakhosi brigade - Mashamaite, Reyaad Pieterse, Gould, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Keagan Ritchie and Kingston Nkhatha - that they won’t be given any favours. - The Star

Original source: Mashamaite gives SuperSport defence a bit more steel