SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo is hoping his young guns can make Matsatsantsa emerge as a strong contender for the Absa Premiership title in the future.
Tembo watched with glee as his relatively young side subjected Chippa United to a 3-0 defeat at Lucas Moripe Stadium in a contest where he fielded seven under 23 players on Friday night.
Luke Fleurs, who scored the third goal following Bradley Grobler’s brace, is the youngest at 19.
The centreback is part of the youngsters Tembo is building a future team with. Teboho Mokoena (23), Sipho Mbule (21), Moses Waiswa (22), Gamphani Lungu (21), started the match against Chippa while Khanyisile Mayo (20) and Jesse Donn (20) came on as substitutes. Other youngsters – Jamie Webber (22) is out injured while Kamohelo Mahlatsi (21) is on loan at University of Pretoria.
“I am a very practical person. I believe in building. I believe in giving youngsters opportunities but youngsters with the right attitude, right mentality. Youngsters who are hungry enough knowing there’s pressure. As much as we are building you are expected to win. You have got to find the right balance especially with right youngsters who will understand there’s pressure. They have to perform. When you get an opportunity, you have to perform,” said Tembo, who is a former youth coach.
“I think we have got the right youngsters. Jesse, Moses, Mayo, Sipho, Tebza, Webber, all those are youngsters are all under 22. At the same time we have to look at the future of the team going forward.
“Probably in two, three years, we would have a very strong team going forward but we have got to start building now. We throw them in there gradually. At the same time we need the spine to be strong. You saw Ronwen Williams, Clayton Daniels, Bradley Grobler, Thamsanqa Gabuza, Onismor Bashera, and Dean Furman, that’s the spine. The spine needs to be strong so that those youngsters can play with less pressure. So we continue giving them opportunities.”
SuperSport, who are third on the Absa Premiership table with 34 points, have done reasonably well but lack of consistency has robbed them of a chance to be neck on neck with table topping Kaizer Chiefs. Tembo says his men will continue grinding results.
“We don’t have to worry about what’s happening on the other side. We’ve got to try and make sure that we focus on our games. The next game for us is another tough one.
“We are going to Golden Arrows. We need to concentrate on that game and make sure we get three points. One game at a time. If you look at it, even down there, Bidvest Wits are coming and putting pressure. Orlando Pirates are coming and putting the pressure. It’s not only about us. For us is to make sure that we maintain and continue getting maximum points. That’s very key for us,” said the former SuperSport United captain.
SuperSport clash with Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday, February 1.
By Hosea Ramphekwa