Johannesburg - Bidvest Wits’ Telkom Knockout triumph last weekend was Daine Klate’s 15th individual trophy, which makes him the most decorated footballer in the PSL era, writes Timothy Molobi.
More often than not, a footballer’s career is judged by the trophies won during their career.
Klate is in a league of his own and leads the individual medal tally in the PSL.
The only missing piece of metal on his mantel is continental silverware, but he can’t be complaining because he’s collected everything on offer in the domestic league.
It’s an incredible medal haul collected by an incredible player – that is the best way to describe Klate and his accolades.
This is a remarkable achievement for a player who was deemed not good enough to play for the national team.
Klate has a mere 13 caps for Bafana Bafana since making his debut in 2008.
From SuperSport United to Orlando Pirates and now Bidvest Wits, wherever Klate has played, he has been able to inspire his team-mates to win silverware.
Which just goes to show that, if you play for the right teams, you can win everything.
The 32-year-old winger, who was voted the 2010 Player of the Season, has averaged more than one trophy per season since his debut in 2004/05. He has won at least three trophies with every team that he’s been part of since leaving SuperSport for Orlando Pirates in 2010.
Wits may be languishing at the bottom of the Absa Premiership table, but Klate is on top of the medals table.
Despite his team struggling in the league, in which they had won only twice in 12 matches before Saturday's game against Polokwane City, Klate’s stature continues to rise.
Klate continues to defy the odds as he keeps pulling away from his chasers.
He has now won three medals in two seasons – the MTN 8, the Absa Premiership and now his second Telkom Knockout.
With the Nedbank Cup and Absa Premiership on offer until the end of the season, Klate could easily add to his tally.
Of the other active players, SuperSport United’s Morgan Gould is not far behind, but he’s on the wrong side of 30, so is not expected to be a serious threat to Klate’s record.
The two have a few things in common – they both played for SuperSport United, and won titles at Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Klate moved to Pirates in 2010, while Gould turned out for Chiefs between 2012 and last year.
The pair went back to United, where Gould is winding up his career, while Klate moved to Bidvest.
Gould has returned to his winning ways at United, having already lifted the Nedbank Cup and the MTN 8 since rejoining Matsatsantsa a Pitori last season. He narrowly missed out on continental silverware after United lost in the CAF Confederation Cup final to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo last month.
But the 34-year-old defender has accomplished what most professionals could only dream of.
Kaizer Chiefs’ goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is lagging behind in the silverware department, but at the age of 30 – which is considered young for a goalkeeper – he could still launch a serious challenge to Klate’s record. He has won three league titles compared with Klate’s record six. However, it seems unlikely that he’ll match or overtake Klate as Amakhosi continues to misfire. Chiefs last won a trophy in 2015 under Stuart Baxter.
Khune leads in personal awards from Footballer of the Season to South African sportsman of the year in 2013.