By Sports Reporter
FORMER Warriors hardman and South African Premiership side Supersport United gaffer Kaitano Tembo refused to take personal glory after winning his first major trophy as a head coach, deciding instead to dedicate the Pretoria-based side’s MTN8 Cup triumph to his players and other members of his technical team.
SuperSport United claimed the MTN8 title on Saturday evening after Bradley Grobler’s first-half header secured a 1-0 win over Tendai Ndoro’s Highlands Park in the final played at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg.
It was Tembo’s first major piece of silverware in his second attempt since taking over the reins at Mantsantsantsa a year ago.
Last year, Tembo missed out on winning his first title in his debut season as head coach after SuperSport United’s loss to Cape Town City in the same tournament.
He was however celebrating this time around after Grobler scored the solitary goal in first half stoppage time when he pounced on a Teboho Mokoena cross from the right wing to head home SuperSport’s opener which ultimately turned out to be the decider.
“It’s my first trophy (as coach), 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 [lost to Cape Town City on penalties] but we kept on working,” Tembo told SuperSport after the game.
“The players bought into 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 former Warriors and Dynamos tough tackling defender also thanked the leadership at SuperSport United for having faith in his abilities as a coach.
Prior to the final, Tembo had already been promised a new deal if he wins the MTN8 which he did on Saturday night.
“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 as well. It’s not easy for them to give an opportunity to someone like me but I really appreciate that,” he said.
Tembo’s SuperSport United which claimed the lucrative R8 million winner’s cheque included fellow Zimbabweans, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Evans Rusike and Onismor Bhasera.
Rusike started for the Pretoria-based side while his Warriors teamate Mahachi was on the bench. Bhasera missed the final due to suspension after receiving a red card last weekend.