Mashiane explains how Chiefs legends Mofokeng‚ Khuse and Zwane became mentors to him
Kaizer Chiefs winger Happy Mashiane has explained how club legends and youth coaches Ryder Mofokeng‚ Donald “Ace” Khuse and Arthur Zwane mentored him whiel he was part of Amakhosi’s academy.
Mashiane‚ who has caught the eye with some skilful first team performances at Chiefs‚ explained he was among the first youth players to be housed in the accommodation of the club’s revamped academy at their Village in Naturena.
The 22-year-old South Africa Under-23 international was part of Chiefs’ reserves who won the inaugural 2018 MultiChoice Diski Shield.
“Playing for the academy comes with pressure knowing very well it is every young boy’s dream to be associated with the brand Kaizer Chiefs. I was one of the fortunate players to be accommodated in the Chiefs academy‚” he said.
“That came with the responsibility to be on my toes all the time. We were well looked after in the academy‚ from nutritional meals‚ school transport and uniform.
“We had great mentors in the academy such as legends like Ryder Mofokeng‚ Ace Khuse and Arthur Zwane who have been in the game for long and they played a huge role in our upbringing. They taught us a lot and I will always remember their advice.”
Mashiane is a South Africa junior international who won the 2017 Cosafa U-20 Challenge Cup.
He spoke out about his challenging journey from the amateur ranks to the Amakhosi first team. Mashiane started on his path to Chiefs playing for six months for Future Through Football (FTF)‚ an academy side started by East Rand businessman Ghino Johnson.
“I knew that the East Rand produced some of the finest footballers and that encouragement me‚” he said.
“I did not endure a difficult upbringing but in terms of my football career it was not an easy path to get to the professional level. I was fortunate to grow up under a good mentor like Ghino Johnson.
“Ghino always told me that I have the potential to make it in the professional ranks. He always pushed me to work hard.
“Ghino started a development team called Future Through Football‚ which I played for. The team was based in Sandton.
“It was not easy‚ but he organised transport for us to travel to and from training. We had a great time with Ghino at FTF.”
Mashiane starred for FTF from early 2014 and he joined Amakhosi six months later in June 2014.
“After playing under Ghino’s guidance for a few months‚ we then had an opportunity to play against Kaizer Chiefs Under-17 in the league. I impressed during the game and got invited to Kaizer Chiefs youth Academy for trials.
“And as the saying goes‚ the rest is history. Here I am a Glamour Boy today.”
Mashiane played for the Chiefs reserves team for three-and-a-half seasons before he was promoted to the first team in January 2019 and he made his debut in the 1-0 win over Tornado FC in a Nedbank Cup last-32 game on January 26 last year.
“Since gaining promotion to the first team‚ my life changed for the better but I still face challenges though‚ especially in this era that is dominated by social media‚” he said.
“We all know social media can make or break you. So being a role model to the younger ones comes with pressure because whatever you do‚ they try to emulate.”