Daine Klate set a new league player record of six titles, surpassing André Arendse, David Kannemeyer and Ace Ntsoelengoe. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

It was almost inevitable that it would be Daine Klate who would have the final say as Wits tried to wrap up the PSL title against Polokwane City on Wednesday night.

After all, the 32-year-old from Port Elizabeth knows how to win things, and produce the big moments to bag those titles.

He did it in last October’s MTN8 final against Mamelodi Sundowns as he scored twice in a resounding 3-0 triumph, his first championship at Wits.

And on Wednesday at Milpark, with the clock seconds away from the hour mark, Klate got his opportunity to shine.

He received the ball a fair distance outside the box, and with just a burst of pace, left Polokwane defender Tshepo Tema for dead before unleashing a trademark left-foot pile-driver that beat the tough-as-nails George Chigova in goal.

It was a fitting way for Gavin Hunt’s Wits to clinch their first ever Premiership title in their 96-year history, and it gave Klate a sixth league win and 14th overall top-flight honour – one more than his pitiful total of Bafana caps…

He set a new SA league player record of six titles, surpassing André Arendse, David Kannemeyer and Ace Ntsoelengoe, but didn’t want to claim all the plaudits for his evident magical touch.

“Yoh, it’s a bit overwhelming! I’m just a team player. Each and every team I’ve won it with have been fantastic teams – I didn’t do it on my own. And once more… I’m very happy for the team, for Bidvest Wits, the badge. I’m delighted that it’s the first league title for the club, and hopefully many more to come,” Klate told SuperSport TV after the match.

“We’ve had a fantastic season, and I think everybody deserves it – from the management, to the players, to the technical staff. The coach as well, he’s been amazing. We’ve had lots of fights during the year, but it was all worth it in the end. It’s an ecstatic feeling.”

The left winger from Gelvandale – an area also famous for producing Proteas cricketers Ashwell Prince, Robin Peterson and coach Russell Domingo – said that the secret to his and the club’s success was working as a team.

Gavin Hunt celebrates winning the PSL title with Wits assistant coach Paul Johnstone. Photo: Gavin Barker, BackpagePix

In doing so, Klate took a swipe at some of Wits’ rivals as some felt that the Clever Boys wouldn’t be able to hold off the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City in what was a spectacular title race.

“We kept growing throughout the season. We had our goals and we kept working hard at training, and we play for each other. There was a lot of talk from other teams about who should be the Player of the Season and this and that…

“But never Wits. It was never about the individual. We don’t want Player of the Season, we want the championship, and that’s what we did. We are team players, we didn’t depend on the one individual.

“And that’s been the story of our season. We kept out of the media, and everybody else was fancied when they were top of the league.”

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is set to name his first squad next Thursday for the upcoming Afcon qualifier against Nigeria.

Surely it wouldn’t be too much to expect Baxter to give Klate a real chance at international level?

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