This one’s for you Ma! Kaizer Chiefs’ Happy Mashiane has promised his mother he won’t come home empty handed
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CAPE TOWN - On the eve of Kaizer Chiefs’ departure to Morocco, midfield dynamo Happy Mashiane passionately promised his mother that he’d bring the Caf Champions League trophy home.
It was a big call by Mashiane, who is a vital cog in the Chiefs midfield that has helped the team grind out one upset result after the other.
The 23-year-old Mashiane has featured in four Champions League matches to date, but he is a fine example of the dashing players who have worn the Chiefs jersey with great distinction in Africa.
In all competitions this season, Mashiane has scored two and recorded several assists in 25 matches. Three years ago, he was plucked from the club’s youth ranks where Arthur Zwane was the mentor at the time. A year on, he was signed by then-coach Ernst Middendorp.
The black and gold of Amakhosi runs deep in Mashiane’s veins. His father was a passionate supporter, and his mother Mable was his inspiration.
As a child, he hero-worshipped midfield legend Thabo Mooki who played more than 300 games for Chiefs.
“I promised her (mother) I will bring it (the Champions League trophy) home and I need to make sure I keep my promise,” said Mashiane, speaking from Chiefs’ base in Casablanca, where the team are based ahead of tomorrow night’s historic Champions League final.
“Before I left South Africa I was on a call with my mum, and I promised her I will do my best and make her proud.
“It is something (winning the trophy) that everyone is hoping to achieve. I feel lucky to achieve this (being in the final) at an early age. Therefore, I shall cherish it and be happy that I was able to do it.”
Mashiane said Chiefs’ entourage arrived in the coastal city of Casablanca on Wednesday night after a long trip from Johannesburg via Lagos.
“The weather is humid and hot, so we had to adapt,” said Mashiane. “Things are going well for now.
“We know we have to adjust, and we are mentally prepared. We will go out there on Saturday night and do our best.
“We have worked hard to reach the final. Now we need to work extra hard.
“We promised many, many people that we’re going to take this thing back home. We will work extra hard.”
Mashiane said it was apparent that excitement was at a fever pitch after fans greeted them on arrival at the airport.
“We do feel the vibe,” said Mashiane. “People were waiting for us at the airport, and the vibe gets to you.
“Playing (a) final where there are no supporters is not something we are going to get used to. Football is a game that needs supporters for us to feel the atmosphere.
“Playing the final without supporters is not great. When you have supporters, they will cheer and it makes you want to do better. Without the supporters, it won’t be easy, but we will work extra hard.”
Mashiane said their opponents Al Ahly were a great team under coach Pitso Mosimane, but Chiefs are well prepared and ready to conquer.