No regrets for Amakhosi boss as club turns 46
‘I think we’ve made good strides as a country,’ Motaung tells Timothy Molobi as he looks back over years of success in sport
Though January 8 1912 will always be remembered as the day the ANC was formed, it was not the only significant anniversary on the South African calendar this week.
January 7 marked the day Kaizer Chiefs was formed in 1970. And sharing his birthday with his club is midfielder George Maluleka, who was born on the same day 27 years ago.
Maluleka said the date had a significant meaning to him. “My first training session with Amakhosi was on my birthday, on January 7 2013, and my first game was against Mamelodi Sundowns,” he said ahead of last night’s league game against Sundowns.
“It’s a huge honour to share my birthday with this club and it means a lot to me. My aim is to do well and leave a lasting legacy like the past players.”
Chiefs founder Kaizer Motaung paid tribute to all who played a role in building the brand.
“I always thank God for blessing us to start this big brand and institution on this day,” said Motaung.
“It has been a very eventful and successful journey for the past 46 years and it is thanks to those who started it and who are here now to carry the team forward.”
The 71-year-old Chiefs boss said he was happy with what he had achieved and had no regrets. “When I look back, I would not have changed anything. It has been very good so far. Maybe other things could have been done better, but obviously you can’t do everything 100%. A lot of work has been done, hence I say thanks to those who have been there for us.”
Motaung said Chiefs’ journey defined the football setup in South Africa because of “the role we played, not only in sport but politically too”. “When I look back to where we come from, I think we have made good strides as a country.
“Globally, South Africa is not far off and it shows we have the potential to reach the highest levels if we can pull it off. Football has become so dynamic and scientific, with the sports scientists making it possible for us to be on par with the rest of the world.”
With their development infrastructure – built adjacent to the club’s headquarters in Naturena – almost completed, Motaung said there was lot of ground still to be covered.
“I am not happy with the progress we have made thus far, but I am glad we have finished the infrastructure and are putting things together. “We need to start to put players on the conveyor belt so that we can export them. The structure we have put in place must be able to complement the infrastructure we have,” said Motaung.
PROUD George Maluleka shares his birthday with that of his club, Kaizer Chiefs
HAPPY BOSS Kaizer Motaung has built a successful brand