Johannesburg – SuperSport United CEO Stan Matt hews has revealed how the club has managed to rein in the wayward behaviour of players such as Thamsanqa Gabuza, helping them become respected professional footballers.
Speaking to members of the SA Football Journalists Association (Safja) on a wide range of football matters, Matt hews also spoke about the Premier Soccer League (PSL) club’s player academy that has produced the likes of Sipho Mbule, Teboho Mokoena and their latest sensation Jesse Donn, who has since gone on to become household names playing for the national Under23s and Bafana Bafana.
“Mbule and Mokoena are prized assets in SA football and they are not for sale. We are the top producers of talent in the country and our shaping of the character of players is on top of priorities, the support and mentorship runs from the academy to the first team,” said Matt hews.
“[Gabuza can tell you himself.] After he misbehaved, he was called to my office. I told him ‘you are out of my club, you are out’. He is now doing well for himself on the field and has never misbehaved again.
“We are a brand that stands for our image and [strives for] excellence. We would rather finish fourth or fi ft h every season than finish third and have people who drink, womanise, sleep too little and do all sort of funny things that are not within our value system.”
Gabuza, 34, seemed to have revitalised himself at the Tshwane side soon after he joined Matsatsantsa from Orlando Pirates in 2019.
But last year, his off-the-field antics returned when he broke lockdown regulations and was arrested for speeding.
In 2018 while at Pirates, Gabuza dramatically threw his shirt at the crowd and walked off the pitch as he celebrated scoring against Black Leopards.
His cheeky behaviour was prompted by the hostile reception he had been receiving from the Bucs faithful amid the general perception that he was no longer a regular scorer.
The behaviour angered then-coach Milutin Sredojević as the striker had also made rude hand gestures towards the crowd. He later apologised.
Soccer results and fixtures CAF Champions League Friday:
AmaZulu 0, TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 0. Today: AS Maniema Union (DR Congo) v Mamelodi Sundowns (Pentecost Martyrs Stadium, Lingwala, Kinshasa, 4 pm).
CAF Confederation Cup Friday:
Diables Noirs (Congo) 0, Orlando Pirates 0; Marumo Gallants 2, AS Vita Club (DR Congo) 1.
DStv Premiership Yesterday:
Sekhukhune United 1, Cape Town City 0; SuperSport United 2, Baroka 0; Kaizer Chiefs 3, Chippa United 0. Today: Swallows v Stellenbosch (Dobsonville Stadium, 3.30pm).
Yesterday: Southampton 1, Leeds 0; Aston Villa 2, Wanderers 3; Leicester City 4, Manchester United 2; Manchester City 2, Burnley 0; Norwich 0, Brighton 0; Watford 0, Liverpool 5
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