Daine Klate is the most decorated player in the local game, but never really got his chance to shine for Bafana Bafana, something he no longer thinks about while playing for Wits. Picture: BackpagePix
The irony is not lost on Daine Klate that despite being the local game’s most decorated player he has never represented the country at a major tournament.

As it is, Klate has only been capped 13 times by Bafana Bafana. Contrast that to the six championship titles and a myriad of knockout competitions triumphs that sees his trophy tally standing at an incredible 14 medals and you should have a player wondering why he has not played more for his country.

Klate though, remains unfazed by it all.

“I’m tired of that question man,” was Klate’s terse response to how he feels about his being shunned for national duty.

“For me it is all about playing as long as I can and try to add more titles. For me there’s no vision 2022.

"I’ve made peace with the fact that it is what it is. I can’t focus on things that are beyond my control.”

What is within his control is to give his all for his club, whoever they may be and at the moment the beneficiaries of his talent and incredible knack for success are Bidvest Wits.

The Clever Boys won their maiden championship thanks in part to the experience of the man from Port Elizabeth. It was him who ensured Wits started the season on a high by lifting the MTN8 title, for which Klate was rewarded with the Last Man Standing award at the PSL end of season ceremony on Monday.

For Klate, the pleasure of the game has always been in his helping his teams to success.

“It is always a good feeling to win trophies and accolades. Winning trophies shows that I’m a team player. It was great to contribute in the team and it is always nice to get recognition.”

The logical step from that recognition is regular call-ups to the national team. But that has eluded Klate.

He missed out on the 2008 Ghana Africa Cup of Nations, the 2009 Fifa Confederation Cup and the 2010 World Cup that we hosted plus the 2013 and 2015 Afcon tournaments here and in Equatorial Guinea.

Even when Bafana were coached by Shakes Mashaba, who handed out caps like they were free call backs, Klate still didn’t crack the nod.

Current Bafana coach Stuart Baxter appears to believe in having a good mix of experience and youth in his side. Does Klate foresee an opportunity of a call-up?

“There’s good enough players out there. There’s (Keagan) Dolly and others now. I had my times but it wasn’t to be for me as I wasn’t the regular. I want to focus on my club career now and contribute to my team, that’s all,” Klate said.

Not that he will spurn a chance of donning the national team jersey again though.

“I’m not saying I’m done with Bafana. If an opportunity comes I will still be available but I’m not going to have sleepless nights about it.”

Whether it does or not, there can be no denying Klate’s standing as the local game’s most decorated player. Some have even gone as far as referring to him as “a championship magnet”, something he disputes.

“I don’t have magic. It is all about being a team player and working hard. Playing with quality players always makes it easy. I had quality players at SuperSport United and I also played with good players at Orlando Pirates and it is the same here at Wits.

“I’m a team player and I always want to contribute positively in the team’s success.”

The Star