Kaizer Chiefs winger-cum-full-back Happy Mashiane has said that he won’t celebrate if he scores against Maritzburg United on Wednesday evening at Harry Gwala Stadium as a mark of respect to his former coach Ernst Middendorp.
‘Th Glamour Boys’ will face ‘The Team of Choice’ for the third time this season. In the first encounter, Chiefs won 2-1 in the MTN8‚ then Maritzburg coach Middendorp made his return to FNB Stadium with a 2-0 league victory over his former employers.
Middendorp led Chiefs to second place last campaign and gave the talented Mashiane his debut in senior football in the 2018/19 season.
“It’s nothing personal, it’s just that we have to work. And I have to respect him, that is maybe it happens that I do score, I won’t celebrate because it’s one of the coaches that gave me the platform,” said Mashiane.
The 23-year-old attacker returned from injury to become Chiefs’ youngest player to score in the Caf Champions League as the Soweto giants beat Petro de Luanda 2-0 in their 2-0 Group C at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
“Coming back from injury wasn’t that easy. I had to work hard to be in the starting line-up again and I was fortunate enough to score a goal‚” added Mashiane, who has struggled with injures in a taxing season but has managed to make 12 appearances in all competition with three goals and an assist to his name.
“And apparently I’m the youngest player to score in the Champions League [for Chiefs]. I’m working on being consistent and trying to prevent my injuries. Most of the time I get lucky because they are minor injuries.”
Mashiane is expecting a tough challenge in KwaZulu-Natal. “It won’t be an easy one because we know that the first leg they won in our home, here in FNB,” declared South Africa U23 international.
“So, going there to them, it won’t be easy. Because you know, Harry Gwala, most of the teams don’t go out there with maximum points,” he concluded.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi