The man who scouted Thatayaone Ditlhokwe on losing him for free to Kaizer Chiefs

The man who scouted Thatayaone Ditlhokwe on losing him for free to Kaizer Chiefs

The man who brought defender Thatayaone Ditlhokwe to SuperSport United in 2020 says he was devastated the club lost him for free to Kaizer Chiefs.

Speaking to SABC Sport in a wide-ranging interview about his role as the club’s chief scout, Paul Matthews also reflected on the surprise announcement in January the Botswana international would be joining Amakhosi without SuperSport getting a cent having not agreed terms on a new contract.

"Obviously, it was disappointing for everybody. You sort of know sometimes that good players are gonna move on. I remember when I was a kid at Cosmos [Jomo Cosmos], there was all the players that would [move on]," Matthews said.

"Phil Masinga would move on and the next year, you'd have August Makalakalane and Thomas Madigage and those two went to Switzerland. Then Helman Mkhalele and Sizwe Motaung came in as a centre forward then a right midfielder then he became a right back and a centre back."

Matthews holds no grudges, and in fact believes Ditlhokwe, already a regular for Chiefs under coach Molefi Ntseki, can even go abroad.

"In order for other players to get an opportunity, people move on and you want people to go overseas and become superstars and become multimillionaires and secure futures for their families,” he added.

“You know, it's disappointing for your club when you lose players but when they are that good it's inevitable. You're happy for them to move. The person is getting an opportunity to better himself and show what he can do in the higher levels."

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SuperSport – through Matthews’ experienced eye – have already found a replacement for Ditlhokwe in Nigerian-born Ime Okon, who has quickly caught the eye of Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos.

The veteran scout elaborates further on various methods of looking for talent in the modern era.

"So, it's a mixture of both but traditional old fashion scouts still like to go and watch players live. Which I think you should be doing but the data and the footage can backup what you think you are seeing on the field."

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