Legendary former Highlanders and national team defence rock Alexander “Cool Ruler” Maseko has said he lost his place in the 1990s Dream Team following his move from Highlanders to South African side Mamelodi Sundowns.
The soft spoken Maseko, who paid Chronicle Sport a visit on Wednesday, revealed that the late former Warriors’ coach Reinhard Fabisch did not believe in the South African league and began to slowly leave him out of the team following his move.
“Fabisch, may his soul rest in peace, clearly told me that he did not believe in the South African league. To him, the Zimbabwean league then was far ahead of the South African league and therefore when I left Highlanders to join Mamelodi Sundowns, he was not amused and that affected my continued involvement with the national team,” said Maseko, who returned to his South African base yesterday after spending the Christmas holiday with his family.
Maseko signed for Sundowns in 1991 and won the championship with them two years later.
“Personally I think the South African Premiership is still the most sought after league. There are more scouts coming to that country than in any league in Africa and surely that must make it a league of choice,” he said.
Maseko said the only problem was that Zimbabwean players seemed to rush to South Africa before first maturing while others don’t have mentors to take them through the South African jungles.
“It’s unfortunate that some of these youngsters don’t even bother to approach people like myself just for a fatherly advice about South Africa and the general life outside football. It’s important that they don’t go astray,” he said.
Maseko’s football journey is rooted at Mpopoma High School. After completing his ‘O’ Levels, he joined lower division side DRG Viking in 1982 and was offered a job as a dispatch clerk.
In 1983, he joined Highlanders and spent the season playing for the reserve side. He made his senior Bosso debut in 1984 as a defensive midfielder until legendary central defender Douglas Mloyi sustained an injury. Maseko was drafted into that position and never looked back.
He left Highlanders for Darryn Tornadoes in 1988 before returning to win the championship with Bosso in 1990. He was signed by Sundowns in 1991 and played for them until his career was ended by an injury in 1996.
Maseko now runs a company that manages players’ careers known as Focus Sports Management.