Cape Town - SuperSport United vice-captain Clayton
Daniels has praised striker Thamsanqa Gabuza for putting the team's
interests ahead of his own.
Gabuza shocked the football community last weekend when United coach
Kaitano Tembo revealed that the former Orlando Pirates player's son had
passed away on the Monday leading up to the MTN 8 final against Highlands
Park, and that Gabuza opted to keep the devastating news to himself as
to not negatively impact his team's preparations.
The 32-year-old forward went on to play a big part in United's 1-0
victory as they clinched their third MTN 8 title, and Daniels spoke
highly of Gabuza's decision to withhold the news of his son's passing
until after the game.
"It takes a lot of character to play in a game like that and still
put out that kind of man of the match performance without telling
anyone," Daniels stated at the Telkom Knockout draw on Wednesday.
"Big respect for him as a footballer, it's heartfelt and I hope all
of us as players can learn from him, how to put your personal issues
aside and focus on your work - we can definitely take a page out of that
"He kept it quiet, he didn't want to upset the rhythm of the team and
we were all in shock. He said he missed the funeral on the Friday.
"I don't know, if you look at his situation and where he's come from,
to give something up like that in a crucial moment, it's a difficult
decision both ways [for his family and his career]. But I'm happy for
him, he's achieved something good with us; something that he couldn't
achieve at Orlando Pirates, where he was booed.
"We've shown him love; we've shown him what it's like to be a team
and a family, and you can see it in his performances - he's playing his
best football now and we hope he continues."
He added: "We respect him even more now, and we want to bring him
even closer to us - the players and the technical team, so that whenever
there is something wrong, the window is open for him to talk about it
and we can be there as a support structure for him.
"He's taken a break now; the coach has given him off to take some
time to fill up where he can and spend some time with the family."
- TeamTalk Media