Ex-Orlando Pirates striker Mashego: There’s no way you can’t succeed after working with Da Gama

The former Bafana assistant coach has revealed how he discovered Mahoota, who won four PSL titles

Former Mamelodi Sundowns forward Katlego Mashego has praised Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama.

The retired marksman worked with the veteran tactician at the now-defunct Platnum Stars between 2004 and 2006, known as Silver Stars at the time.

Mashego had made his professional career at Hellenic in 2001, but Da Gama was the man who helped transform ‘Mahoota’ into a quality striker at Stars.

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“There’s no way you’d play for Owen da Gama’s team and fail to be a success when you move on,” Mashego told Far Post.

Mashego was born in a town called Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga where Da Gama saw him for the first time.

Then-football agent Tim Sukazi, who would become Mashego’s representative, recommended the left-footed frontman to Da Gama.

“I was to drive to Venda, but I then thought to go via Bushbuckridge to see this talent Tim had told me about,” Da Gama said on the same publication.

Da Gama is also credited for discovering former Silver Stars players Surprise Moriri and Stanley Kgatla, and Kaizer Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho.

The 58-year-old mentor, who is a former Bafana Bafana caretaker coach, has travelled to places like Limpopo and Mpumalanga in order to unearth talent in those provinces.

“If he visits a certain place and identifies a good player, he would never leave without the player,” Mashego said about Da Gama, who has also coached Pirates, Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic.

Mashego went on to become one of the best strikers in the history of the PSL after working with Da Gama at Silver Stars.

The former Bafana international is in the PSL’s top 10 all-time leading goalscorers list with 88 goals although he was a bit of a journeyman during his career.

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After playing for Hellenic and Silver Stars, Mahoota also turned out for Pirates, Sundowns, SuperSport United,  Moroka Swallows, Lamontville Golden Arrows as well as Chippa United.

Mashego, who won major trophies with SuperSport, Swallows, Pirates and Sundowns, also scooped the PSL Golden Boot at the end of the 2012/13 campaign with 13 goals.

He was part of the Bafana squad at the 2014 African Nations Championship and he retired from professional football early last year.

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