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

CityPress - - 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.

PHOTO: RYAN WILKISKY / BACK­PAGEPIX

PROUD Ge­orge Maluleka shares his birth­day with that of his club, Kaizer Chiefs

PHOTO: SYD­NEY MAHLANGU / BACK­PAGEPIX

HAPPY BOSS Kaizer Mo­taung has built a suc­cess­ful brand

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