'Talent alone is never enough' Ramahlwe Mphahlele tells starlet Happy Mashiane

Happy Mashiane, who is the latest graduate to shine in the top league, has been getting solid guidance from elder statesman Mphahlele.
Happy Mashiane, who is the latest graduate to shine in the top league, has been getting solid guidance from elder statesman Mphahlele.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele has offered a word of advice to his protege and teammate Happy Mashiane, urging the young left-back to remain grounded after his promising start to top-flight football.

Merely a week after Chiefs announced his promotion from the club's development to the first team, Mashiane made his senior debut in Amakhosi's Nedbank Cup win away to ABC Motsepe League side Tornado nearly two weeks ago.

The 21-year-old utility defender played his first league match when Chiefs lost 1-0 to Cape Town City last week.

Mashiane may have just played two top-flight matches, but many have already tipped him for bigger things going forward.

"He's a good player. He's got potential to become one of quality players in the team. But talent alone is never enough. The boy is still young. He must stay focused and disciplined,'' Mphahlele told Sowetan.

"The most important thing is discipline. We've seen many youngsters coming to the team, thinking they've arrived and just go off the rail [in the end]. I wish him well. He must know that he has not done anything in football.''

Mashiane, who hails from Tembisa on the East Rand, is expected to feature in the Soweto derby for the first time when Chiefs welcome their arch-foes Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The young full-back's chance to command a regular spot in the starting XI has also been boosted by the departure of Ugandan-born defender Godfrey Walusimbi, who was released by the club last week.

However, Mashiane still faces competition from fellow academy product Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya.

Coach Ernst Middendorp has been deploying Ntiya-Ntiya at right-back, but the arrival of natural right-back Reeve Frosler from Bidvest Wits could see the Amakhosi mentor slot Ntiya-Ntiya back to his primary position.

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