JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 29, New Kaizer Chiefs signing Tefu Mashamaite during the Kaizer Chiefs players awards banquet held at Theatre on the Track in Kyalami on June 29, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa Photo by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Speculation as to who will take over the vacant Kaizer Chiefs head coaching job is rife and whether Amakhosi will hire a foreigner or maybe even shock the nation by acquiring the services of a local coach remains a mystery.

The club’s defender Tefu Mashamaite, however, is not too concerned about which part of the world their next coach will come from, as long as the man Amakhosi’s management hire will have the right man management and leadership skills.

“It doesn’t really matter if the coach is an African, a European or someone from South America. As long as that person will come through and make the players buy into his vision. That helps,” the 27-year-old defender said.

“You have to be a leader for the players. He has to know the players personally, give them direction and be a motivator. Man management skills go a long way in ensuring a coach is successful,” the former BIDVest Wits captain went on to say.

Mashamaite, who has been in defence for Chiefs’ three defeats since Vladimir Vermezovic’s departure a fortnight ago, is not as optimistic about winning the Absa Premiership title as interim coaches Doctor Khumalo and Ace Khuse are.

From league and cup double contenders a couple of weeks ago, Chiefs’ miserable season is fast threatening to end in humiliation.

Amakhosi are in sixth place, going into their match against SuperSport United at FNB Stadium (kickoff 8.15pm), and are actually in danger of falling out of the top eight if their results in the last five matches do not improve.

“Realistically our chances of winning the league this season are very slim,” Mashamaite said. “And for me, it will be a failure because this is my first season at the club and we would finish the season without a trophy. It doesn’t mean it will always be like this season. This is something we will learn from.”

What he’s optimistic about however is his future, which appears to be back on track. The central defender’s first season at Chiefs has not exactly gone the way he had hoped. However, now that he is getting a run in the starting XI under the interim coaches, Mashamaite has high hopes of returning to the national team set-up having previously knocked on the Bafana Bafana door during his playing days at Wits.

“I want to play for the national team. I’ve had one Bafana call-up, but I did not get to play. I told myself that I will go back to the national team in future and I will work hard for that. In football, life can change in a few matches,” he said.

Mashamaite was no favourite in the squad during Vermezovic’s reign at the Naturena club despite his high profile move from the Clever Boys which was rumoured to be around R1.5 million, twiddling his thumbs on the bench for almost six months while the likes of Dominic Isaacs, Thomas Sweswe and Lincoln Zvasiya played in the centre of the Amakhosi defence.

The Serbian was shown the door and since then Mashamaite has featured in every match.

“I had to motivate myself during the time I was not playing. I kept telling myself that this is only my first season and that it would get better. I had to adjust to the situation, get used to the guys and the way the team plays.

I have forgotten about the past and I am focused on what I am doing now. The chance to play came and I embraced it.

“It didn’t come easily, but I am happy that I am getting game time. It motivates me and I just want to keep on going. The reserve league matches have helped me a lot. I’m happy with where I am.” – The Star