JOHANNESBURG – BY guiding his team to the MTN 8 trophy, Supersport United coach, Kaitano Tembo, has written his name in the South African football history books by becoming arguably the first individual to win the same cup as a coach and a player.
Already a legend at Zimbabwean powerhouse, Dynamos, Tembo on Saturday masterminded a 1-0 defeat over Highlands Park at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
This came 15 years after he was part of the SuperSport side that won the same tournament, when it was still known as the South African Airways (SAA) Super Eight Cup.
Then, Supersport beat Kaizer Chiefs with a similar score line.
A modest Tembo refused to take the glory for attaining legendary status at the club and South African football.
He instead showered his elated players with praise.
“My first trophy … but at the same time I have to give it to the guys. Since day one we have been a family. They accepted me. We got into the final last season but we kept on working,” Tembo, whose side lost on penalties to Cape Town City last year, said.
He has maintained the winning mentality he found at the club he joined in 1999 from the now-defunct Cape Town side, Seven Stars.
“The players bought to my philosophy and they are the ones running with it now. So it makes it easier for me…..that’s why I give it to them and the technical team,” the 49-year-old gaffer added.
The former central defender who also captained the side also heaped praise on club chief executive officer (CEO), Stan Matthews, who showed faith in him by appointing Tembo to the helm of the club in 2018.
Following retiring in 2006 after seven seasons and 150 appearances and five goals for Supersport, Tembo has served as an assistant coach, caretaker coach as well as head of the juniors and reserve team.
During that period, he attained his coaching badges with the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and South African Football Association (SAFA).
“(I thank) the board, the CEO (Stan Matthews) … I know he always gives me a hard time because he believes in me. I really appreciate that. Even the chairman (Khulu Sibiya) as well …. It’s not easy for them to give an opportunity to someone like me but I really appreciate that,” Tembo said after the victory on Saturday.
At junior level, he has guided SuperSport United to the 2008 Under-17 Engen Cup and the Lagos International Cup in 2010.
– CAJ News