Daine Klate

The dec­o­rated PSL vet­eran is think­ing ahead fol­low­ing his move to Chippa United, but re­mains de­ter­mined to make an im­pact in Port El­iz­a­beth.

Kick Off - - INSIDE -

After leav­ing Port El­iz­a­beth for Gaut­eng at a very young age, Daine Klate is fi­nally back in his home­town after join­ing Chippa United in the off-sea­son. In this in­ter­view with KICK OFF’s Tshep­ang Mail­wane, the dec­o­rated 33-year-old talks about his home­com­ing, win­ning ev­ery­thing and life after foot­ball.

KICK OFF: How does it feel be­ing back home in Port El­iz­a­beth?

Daine Klate: It’s a good feel­ing. One al­ways ap­pre­ci­ates home a lit­tle more once you have been away from it for so long. The first few months have been re­ally good for me. I am ap­pre­ci­at­ing the small lit­tle things a bit more, see­ing the beach, the beau­ti­ful sta­dium and train­ing here ev­ery day. It’s a good feel­ing be­ing back, and I am ob­vi­ously look­ing for­ward to mak­ing a dif­fer­ence for the club.

Is this some­thing you planned all along?

My wife and kids moved to PE about three years ago; Zack is in Grade 3 now and Alex is in Grade 1. The plan was to set­tle in PE after foot­ball, but it’s now a bless­ing that I am able to play for Chippa which helped with the de­ci­sion of mov­ing here per­ma­nently. So yeah, it’s been in the pipeline. I think the cost of liv­ing is a lit­tle bit less here. The life­style is much calmer and the qual­ity of life is much bet­ter for my fam­ily. I have my cousins and aunts here, though my par­ents are still in Joburg, but I have a lot of fam­ily and friends here, so it’s only good for me to be here to pre­pare for life after foot­ball.

Is this where you want to re­tire?

Ab­so­lutely. I think you can never re­ally pin­point plans like that, but it would be ideal if it hap­pens that way. My next dream is to be suc­cess­ful beyond foot­ball.

How did the move to Chippa come about?

To be hon­est with you, we started speak­ing at the end of the [2016/17] sea­son when I won the league with Wits. I had a brief chat with the chair­man [Chippa Mpen­gesi] while I was down here in PE. We had a con­ver­sa­tion about it [mak­ing a move], but I still had an op­tion in my con­tract with Wits and they took that op­tion. I then did a bit of re­search in the mean­time on Chippa, and when the op­por­tu­nity came to go, I took it. Ob­vi­ously with me de­cid­ing that I wanted to re­turn to PE and Wits not tak­ing up their op­tion in my con­tract the fol­low­ing year, ev­ery­thing worked out per­fectly. I think ev­ery­thing worked out the way it should have.

You have pre­vi­ously men­tioned want­ing to give back to the peo­ple of PE … how do you plan on do­ing so?

I have al­ready started a lit­tle bit – a good friend of mine, Bafana July, and my­self have started go­ing around to coach the lo­cal kids. We just go ran­domly ev­ery other week. We load goal posts onto a bakkie and take them to a school. When we got there the first time, we had about 12 or 13 play­ers, but by the time we left, the en­tire school wanted to play soc­cer. Those are things I am look­ing at, while ob­vi­ously try­ing to get some­thing proper go­ing with the var­i­ous schools in the area. We’re look­ing at get­ting in El­rio van Heer­den as well, to go around and in­spire the young chil­dren. There’s a lot of gang­ster­ism hap­pen­ing, so if we can get one or two kids to get out of the area and be suc­cess­ful in life, then it will be job done.

Do you ever think about life after foot­ball?

Yes, I think about it ev­ery day. I think it’s a process and a tran­si­tion that you need to get used to. I have spo­ken to a lot of ex-play­ers, guys like Stan­ton Fred­er­icks and Ri­cardo Katza. Speak­ing to those guys, no mat­ter how much you think you have planned and in­vested, you can never re­ally be pre­pared for life after foot­ball. The sys­tem takes a shock and you ob­vi­ously have to pre­pare, be­cause you wake up ev­ery day of your life and go to train­ing. That’s be­come part of your ex­is­tence, so that’s some­thing that will psy­cho­log­i­cally take a lot from me, but I have been do­ing re­search and I am try­ing to make it as easy as pos­si­ble for my­self. But I still have a lot in my legs and the pas­sion has not died down yet. I am not ready to re­tire yet – maybe after two or three more sea­sons.

How im­por­tant is it to plan and in­vest for life after foot­ball?

I think peo­ple need to re­alise that very few PSL foot­ballers earn enough money to sus­tain them­selves for their en­tire lives. We are not play­ing in Europe where

play­ers buy houses and cars in cash. You still need to go to the bank and get a bond that you pay over 20 years – and our ca­reers don’t span over 20 years. We try to in­vest by buy­ing prop­er­ties and rent­ing them out, but not all those prop­er­ties are paid up. So it’s all about work­ing clever with your money and try­ing as much as pos­si­ble to in­vest. The flip side of the coin is that you also have to live for the mo­ment, be­cause to­mor­row is not promised. You also want to drive the car you dream of, so it goes two ways. You have to in­vest for the fu­ture, but it does not mean that you must not live for the present. But I don’t think PSL play­ers earn enough money for both. Yes, we are for­tu­nate and blessed to earn money that peo­ple can only dream of, but if you com­pare us to Eu­ro­peans, those play­ers can buy houses in cash and we can’t.

Do you see your­self work­ing as a coach after you hang up your boots?

It’s some­thing I have been giv­ing a lot of thought to. I have al­ready started here help­ing out with the ju­niors and my old club Glenville Celtic in the se­niors as well. Maybe that pas­sion is build­ing in me and it’s some­thing I would con­sider in the fu­ture, while ob­vi­ously get­ting the right badges and ed­u­cat­ing my­self. That’s im­por­tant. I think it’s a pos­si­bil­ity, and if I re­ally think about it, coaches earn more than play­ers in this coun­try, so that’s an op­tion.

Which coaches would you say have played the big­gest role in your ca­reer?

Coach Pitso Mosi­mane comes to mind, when I worked un­der him at the be­gin­ning of my ca­reer [at Su­per­Sport United]. I ob­vi­ously can’t ne­glect coach Mandla Maz­ibuko and coach Sam Mbatha when I was at the School of Ex­cel­lence. I think those two coaches pre­pared me well for what I have since achieved in the PSL. Life skills were im­por­tant at the School of Ex­cel­lence and the coaches there put a lot of fo­cus on that. When I left the School of Ex­cel­lence, coach [Kwanele] Kopo played a key role, get­ting me over to Su­per­Sport United. Those coaches re­ally helped me a lot at academy level. Coach Pitso put that work ethic into me, in mak­ing me ded­i­cate my life to foot­ball. He gave me an op­por­tu­nity and taught me how to be a pro­fes­sional player. The foun­da­tions were laid very well. I also achieved a lot with coach Gavin [Hunt] as well. I won four league ti­tles with Gavin, who has played a huge part in my ca­reer to date.

How dis­ap­pointed was Gavin Hunt when you left Wits?

To be hon­est with you, it was not re­ally planned. Ev­ery­thing played out the way it was sup­posed to play it­self out. We never re­ally chat­ted about any­thing. I think with the club fight­ing rel­e­ga­tion last sea­son, I did not want to get into con­trac­tual dis­cus­sions pre­ma­turely, be­cause we were fo­cused solely on fin­ish­ing in a re­spectable po­si­tion. I wanted to wait for the sea­son to be done, but when the sea­son fin­ished ev­ery­body took a break and ev­ery­thing just hap­pened … the op­tion in my con­tract was still there, but I never heard back from the club, but ev­ery­thing played out the way it should. I can’t fault any­body and there’s no bad blood. I speak to Gavin al­most ev­ery day and I spoke to Jose [Fer­reira] and I thanked the club. Also, I felt that after three years [with Wits], I should come to PE and take up this chal­lenge for my­self be­cause I think I did ev­ery­thing with Wits. I won three tro­phies in the three years I was there. So I felt it was time for me to move on.

Klate cel­e­brates Bid­vest Wits’ 2016 MTN8 fi­nal vic­tory with coach Gavin Hunt.

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