Daine Klate acknowledged this much after his return to SuperSport United, where he’s scheduled to do his Uefa A licence practicals, had to be put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the country to a standstill. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Daine Klate acknowledged this much after his return to SuperSport United, where he’s scheduled to do his Uefa A licence practicals, had to be put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the country to a standstill. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Klate happy to return to SuperSport

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published May 3, 2020

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It's a dream return that’s delayed but not denied.

Daine Klate acknowledged this much after his return to SuperSport United, where he’s scheduled to do his Uefa A licence practicals, had to be put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the country to a standstill.

“Obviously, it’s a setback because I was looking forward to starting with my Uefa A licence lessons at the club. It’s disappointing but this (pandemic) is something that has affected everyone, so we are hopeful that it will settle down soon and we can start,” Klate told IOL Sport.

In the early 2000s Klate joined SuperSport from the defunct Transnet School of Excellence. And such was his fruitful stint at the club that he went on to reach legendary status, winning five titles, which include three Premiership crowns from 2007-2009.

Following his last league triumph with Matsatsantsa a Pitori, Klate sought a new challenge and received the blessing of the SuperSport management to join Orlando Pirates, where he won a double treble, which included two Premiership titles.

But as Pirates gradually lost their Kings of South African football status, Klate was out of place with the team - with new faces subsequently blended in.

SuperSport, though, were happy to have him on loan for the second half of the 2014/2015 season.

“I am happy to have played for SuperSport. This is a club that gave me my breakthrough in football. When I came from the School of Excellence, I had the pleasure of working with people like coach Kwanele Kopo who knows the culture of the club in and out,” Klate said.

Such has been the strength of the union between Klate and SuperSport that when the former was released by Pirates to join Bidvest Wits, where he won a record sixth Premiership title and MTN8 Cup, there was no bad blood between him and the Pretoria giants.

Klate subsequently left the Clever Boys to join his hometown club Chippa United for the 2018/2019 season, after which he called an end to his illustrious football career as he turned his focus to coaching - registering for his Uefa B licence.

The 35-year-old spent the first six months of his retirement as the Chilli Boys reserve team coach, scouting young talent all over the Eastern Cape and, importantly, learning more about the adventure he’s embarking on.

“I really had a good time with the boys, we actually managed to compete. It was overwhelming because we had over 80 players that we scouted all over the Eastern Cape but I had to trim them down to a squad of 25,” Klate explained.

“It was also a time of self-introspection for myself. I had to learn about the direction that I wanted to take. So, I’ve learnt a lot during my time with the team because we had some really good players from the province.”

Just as Klate was about to go back to where it all started 16 years ago, the coronavirus struck, forcing the league to come to a complete halt in a bid to flatten the curve - government suspended all gatherings with more than 100 people.

The former Bafana Bafana winger though is not discouraged by the new developments, saying that reuniting with everyone at the club before the imposed national lockdown gave him a sense of belonging.

“Obviously, I spoke with Stan (Matthews, the chief executive) and we agreed that I can join the team and do my coaching practicals for my badges. I had met Kaitano (Tembo, the head coach). But I was happy to see everyone and be back at the club,” Klate said.

@mihlalibaleka 


Sunday Independent 

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