Seal of approval for Kaitano Tembo
IT IS safe to say that Kaitano Tembo, can have the SuperSport United job for life judging by what the Super Diski club’s boss Stanley Matthews has to say about the Zimbabwean gaffer.
Since hanging up his boots in 2006, the former Warriors defender has been part of the Matsatsantsa technical team in various roles.
In August 2018, the Tshwane-based side showed ultimate faith in Tembo by elevating him to the post of coach on a two-year deal.
During his time in charge, Tembo has managed to lead Matsatsantsa to MTN 8 glory last year while also guiding the side to a sixth-place finish in his first full season as head coach.
Before the current Super Diski season was cut short by the coronavirus last month, SuperSport were in third place on the log just eight points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs with six games before the end.
With Tembo’s initial deal running out in August, speculation was already rife that SuperSport might look in a different direction. However, Matthews has always steadfastly maintained that the Zimbabwean was their preferred candidate in the post.
This week, the Matsatsantsa boss announced that Tembo had extended his deal with the club and they would do everything in their power to keep him in Tshwane.
“First of all, he is already in a contract. He would not be working without a contract and we are not going to wait a month before the season starts and decide who our coach is — Kaitano knows that his job is safe,” Matthews told Soccer Laduma.
Matthews went into detail of the tough journey Tembo and the club have travelled ever since he crossed the Limpopo to join them as a player back in 1999.
Back then, SuperSport were not considered a top team in the Super Diski as they were still living in the shadows of their more illustrious Tshwane neighbours — Mamelodi Sundowns.
However, over the years, Tembo has contributed both as a player and now as a coach to help build the SuperSport brand into what it is today.
For that reason, Matthews sees the Zimbabwean as part of the furniture at the club which makes him indispensable.
“I have travelled a long road of 20 years with Kaitano, and in that time he has ended his playing career, but he never lost a job. In that time, he had a car accident, lost family members and was out of commission for many months — but he never lost a job.
“Gavin Hunt went to Wits, Gordon Igesund didn’t want him as an assistant and neither did Cavin Johnson, but he never lost a job. Eric Tinkler left and he (Tembo) has now won a trophy, so why — after 20 years of loyalty and investment, personal trauma and changes in his career to get to where he is now — would we let him go? His job is safe,” Matthews said.