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Khumalo: Why SuperSport United extended ex-Bafana Bafana captain's contract - Tembo

21:51 SAST 2020/08/05
Kaitano Tembo, head coach of Supersport United, March 2020
Matsatsantsa's decision to hand the former Bidvest Wits player a new deal came as a surprise

SuperSport United head coach Kaitano Tembo has explained why the club extended Bongani Khumalo's stay at the three-time PSL champions.

The 33-year-old defender was recently handed a new one-year deal by Matsatsantsa after his previous contract expired at the end of June 2020.

This came as a surprise as Khumalo has seen limited game time this season having featured in only eight matches in the PSL.

Tembo explained that the former Bafana Bafana captain's contribution goes beyond making appearances on match days, with the current season set to resume this weekend. 

“We have got a really young team and I know for a fact that Bongani is a true professional," Tembo told The Citizen.

"He is someone who played in Europe, someone who looks after himself and he is exemplary to the youngsters. He has leadership qualities, he was Bafana Bafana captain."

Clayton Daniels, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe and Luke Fleurs are all preferred ahead of Khumalo, who has started two league matches for the Tshwane giants, while the other six appearances came as a substitute. 

Khumalo is a former Tottenham Hotspur and Preston North End defender and he is an accomplished player having won four PSL titles and also played for Bafana at the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals.

Tembo stressed the importance of having an experienced player like Khumalo in the team as he motivates and guides the youngsters.

“He will play a huge role in that regard and whenever he is called upon to take to the field he does really well and his experience shows," he added.

"When he plays, he always motivates the players around him and when he is not playing, he does the same thing from the bench and at training.

"So, he really does have an important role in our setup and that is why we decided to extend his contract." 

The current season, which was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, will be completed in a Biologically Safe Environment (BSE) in Gauteng.

SuperSport will resume their league campaign against Bloemfontein Celtic at Bidvest Stadium in Braamfontein, Johannesburg next week Sunday.

Matsatsantsa were drawn to play their remaining home league matches at Bidvest Stadium.