Paulus Masehe - Fact File

Free State’s Masehe Focused On Winning The Nedbank Cup

Paulus Masehe`s experience and leadership qualities have been evident for Free State Stars over the past few seasons. The Horse, as Masehe is known, helped the Bethlehem outfit finish in the top eight on the log with his consistency in the last two seasons. He had an interview with Sabie Chili, and speaks talks about Stars` plans to win a cup this season and the importance of discipline in professional football.

Personal Information
Full names: Paulus Masehe
Date of birth: 28 September 1983
Place of birth: QwaQwa

Nickname: The Horse
Position: Midfielder

Club: Free State Stars

Previous Clubs:
Naledi Santos (amateur)
Free State Stars juniors
Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates

2004/05 & 2005/06 Telkom Charity Cup winner
2005/06 League winner (all with Sundowns)
2007/08 Moqhaka Cup winner
Telkom Charity Cup runner-up
Vodacom challenge runner-up
SAA Supa 8 runner-up (all with Pirates)
2012/13 Free State Stars Player of the Season
Player`s Player of the Season and most consistent Player of the Season (all with stars)

The Horse, the club must have noticed that you had a leadership role to fulfil on the field because you were given the captain`s armband this season. How do you plan to help youngsters like Luyolo Nomandela and Sibusiso Mthethwa to remain focused?
They have to honest with themselves. That`s the first and most important thing. As senior players, we are here to tell them when they go off the rails. But it`s up to them to listen. There might be a problem if they don`t listen. Secondly, there`s nothing that comes close to respect in football. If they respect the game, their teammates and everyone else, the game will reward them.

Let`s talk about Ea Lla Koto. You didn`t have a good start, with consecutive losses in the league, MTN8 and Telkom knockout.
We had problems with injuries. Some of our new signings joined the team late for pre-season. Another thing is that our pre-season started late. We had a tour to China at the end of last season. All I am saying is that the team didn`t have enough time to prepare together. Some of the new players were still unaware of what the coach expected from them. The understanding among the players was not there yet. Some people were talking about the players we released like Dove Wome and Kennedy Mweene. Those are the guys that were playing. The other players who left the club weren`t regulars. But I think the guys we brought in will make a difference. Daniel Agyei won the U20 World Cup with Ghana. We also have Ghanaian striker Abdul Basit Adam. There`s also Camaldien Abraw from Togo. We have players like Mthoko Yende, Mongezi Bobe and Themba Shabalala and some exciting youngsters.

Do you think Stars have realized that the team`s best players need to be retained to achieve success?
The team has realized that. But sometimes it depends on the player and how he deals with an offer from a big club. You can`t keep a player in the team when he is unhappy. Big teams like Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs do everything in their power to make a deal happen when they want a player. In such situations, you will find that the player they want  loses focus at the team he plays for. I`m not saying that the guys that left us weren`t focused. All  I’m saying is that when that happens, it tends to affect the player’s performance.

What is the team`s objective this season?
Like every club that say they want to win the league, we also want to win  the league. We have to be consistent and make sure that we accumulate points so that we can fight for the league title. We also want to win a cup. We have to do that for Mr (Mike) Mokoena.  He has supported us through thick and thin. The team last won a trophy in 1994. We have to thank him by winning at least one trophy because we already missed MTN8 and Telkom Knockout this season. The players understand each other more as there are players that have been with the club for a long time.

Coach Steve Khomphela has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with some of the referees’ decisions against Stars. Do you think the players feel the same?
That’s a problem for all the teams in the PSL. I think all the teams complain about that. But we have told ourselves that we need to keep fighting for a win on the field even if we feel that the referee is against us.

You’ve had stints with Sundowns and Pirates in your career. Would you consider a move back to Gauteng again if you got an offer?
That would depend on the agreement with the people wanting me. I can`t say I want to return to Gauteng. The agreement would be between the team I play for and the interested party. If Free State Stars feel that it is time to sell me then that`s fine. But if they feel that I need to stay, I will continue working for the team.

Do you still have ambitions of playing for Bafana Bafana?
Definitely!  There`s no player who doesn`t want to represent his country. With all the things I`ve achieved in football, maybe that`s the only thing that still worries me, that I have never represented my country.

The Horse, thank for your time and all the best.
Thanks my brother.