Klate could have been a cricketer

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

2011/12, 2010/11 (with Or­lando Pi­rates); 2009/10, 2008/09, 2007/08 (with Su­per­Sport United)

Telkom Knock­out

2012

MTN8 CUP

Bid­vest Wits mid­fielder Daine Klate’s mum saw a fu­ture cricket star in her son who, as a teenager, ex­celled at school and district level as a fast bowler and bats­man.

How­ever, her wish was short-lived when a 14-year-old Klate left his home town of Port El­iz­a­beth for the famed Transnet Safa Foot­ball School of Ex­cel­lence.

To­day, the tiny winger, who turns 31 this month, ranks among the leg­ends in the mak­ing in South African top-flight foot­ball. What makes Klate tick? “It’s the pas­sion for the game, but there is noth­ing more mo­ti­vat­ing than win­ning,” says the winger bid­ding for his sixth league ti­tle ( see box).

“All those mem­o­ries [lift­ing sil­ver­ware] are still vivid and keep me go­ing. My suc­cess is not an in­di­vid­ual ef­fort. It’s a team one.”

Klate’s six league goals have kept Wits in the hunt for their first Absa Premier­ship ti­tle de­spite the Clever Boys drop­ping cru­cial points prior to their meet­ing with Golden Ar­rows yes­ter­day.

“Elias Pelembe and I have to chip in be­cause Gavin [Hunt] be­lieves that if wingers can get 10 goals, we’ll win the league. Credit to [Mamelodi] Sun­downs – they have been con­sis­tent, but my ex­pe­ri­ence tells me it’s not over yet. It’s a three-horse race and I can’t rule out [Kaizer] Chiefs. “I just hope the CAF Cham­pi­ons League dis­tracts Sun­downs. I ex­pe­ri­enced the same with Or­lando Pi­rates in con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion. Our league form suf­fered.”

Klate was not much con­sid­ered by the Bafana Bafana se­lec­tors. He ac­cu­mu­lated only 13 caps in a pro­fes­sional ca­reer span­ning 12 years. He has not been given a chance to ply his trade abroad.

“I am a firm be­liever that ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son and I have no re­grets. The game has evolved so much; I am glad to be part of the rev­o­lu­tion,” said the for­mer Su­per­Sport United player.

Klate said it was not easy to pre­dict how far his legs could still carry him. But he has in­vested heav­ily in a pos­i­tive life­style.

Off the field, the father of two boys keeps a low pro­file.

“I hate to go where the so-called celebri­ties go.

“I am not a saint, be­cause I do go out to night clubs with my close friends. But the tim­ing of do­ing all th­ese is very im­por­tant.” 2011, 2010, 2004 (un­der the SAA Supa8 guise)

Ned­bank Cup

2014, 2011, 2005 (then

Absa Cup)

PHOTO: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

FLY­ING WINGER Bid­vest Wits mid­fielder Daine Klate

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