Tefu shows he’s a team player

Thumbnail

The motto is: “You share the load, you share the glory.”

So it comes as no surprise that the Kaizer Chiefs’ defender had no hesitation in handing his Kaizer Chiefs’ Player of the Season award to his defensive partner, Eric Mathoho, on Wednesday night.

Mashamaite felt he needed to share the success with his “co-star” after already walking away with various PSL awards last weekend.

“I’ve been sharing the load with Tower (Mathoho) and other teammates all season. I saw it fit that I can’t just claim every individual award. I needed to share the glory as well,” Mashamaite told Saturday Star this week.

The 30-year-old Amakhosi defender walked away with the 2014/15 Footballer of the Season, Absa Premiership Player’s Player of the Season and the Absa Premiership Defender of the Season last weekend, too, and won total prize money of R450 000.

Despite currently being our most talked-about footballer, he insists his awards were the result of a team effort.

“It’s not every season that a defender wins an award as player of the season. This year, one major contributing factor to winning the title has been defence.

“I’m just happy to be part of this defence. I’m grateful for the number of hours I could play and owe all the glory to my teammates. They contributed a lot to the team.”

Mashamaite also praised his manager, Stuart Baxter, calling it a dream come true to play under him.

“He has a great mentality. When he joined the club, he told us that his ambitions were not just to win trophies but also to transform the lives of players, and that’s what he has done for myself and my teammates.

“He has made me a better human being and I’m grateful to work under him.”

Mashamaite adds that the team’s failure to win the title last year had “fuelled the fire” in them to go all the way this season.

“It has been a great ride. Definitely a redemption from what happened last season. We drew a lot of inspiration from the pain that befell us then, with Sundowns coming through and just snatching the league title from us.

“We asked ourselves a lot of questions, and reflected on our past season. I think this time we really came back with force, and broke a few records en route to winning the championship,” he says.

Mashamaite adds that his family had been overwhelmed by his recent achievements and was thrilled to have his mother by his side when he picked up his awards.

“My mom was very emotional, she was happy.

“She reflected on the journey we had ever since I was young and looked back at the challenges that I overcame.

“I’m grateful that she’s still here to see my achievements and to taste my success.”

While the defender is enjoying every minute of playing for the Soweto giants, he admits to having ambitions of playing overseas.

“Never limit your dreams,” he says. “Germany is a league that excites me. I watch the German league on a regular basis, and no matter which team is playing, the atmosphere and the fans are always great. That’s what dreams are made of.”

Right now, however, his concentration is on leading Chiefs to back-to-back titles next season.

“Next season I’ll be looking to improve my performance as an individual, as a leader as well as a team player.

“Playing for Chiefs is a challenge itself. Hopefully we can win back-to-back titles.

“It would have been nice to win the title three years in a row, but we have an opportunity to do so again.”

Mashamaite says he has no intention of retiring anytime soon.

“My legs feel like I can go on for another 10 years. I will take each day as it comes. Many people ask me about my retirement because I am 30. That thought has not even crossed my mind.”

After a gruelling season, Mashamaite admits he is looking forward to taking a few weeks off to relax and spend quality time with his family.

“Since last Sunday it’s been hectic with TV, radio and newspaper interviews. To be honest, I’m tired now.

“I’m looking forward to taking a long drive to Limpopo to chill with the family.” - Saturday Star

Original source: Tefu shows he’s a team player

by