AGELESS Mutare-born defender, Onismor “Bash” Bhasera has set his sights on a fruitful campaign by leading his club SuperSport United to a podium finish this season in the South African DStv Premiership.
The Warriors fullback, who is the club captain, has starred in his side’s promising start to the campaign and declared that they are challenging for top honours.
Going into the month-long break necessitated by the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals, Matsatsantsa are in third position with 21 points behind defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns (28 points) and promoted surprise package, Richards Bay (23 points).
With 12 rounds of matches played, they are seven points off the pace after managing six wins, three draws and as many wins.
Speaking from his Pretoria base, Bhasera said clinching silverware is their top priority this season.
“We have started the league marathon on a positive note and are enjoying the moment. Everyone at the club wants to keep that momentum going throughout the campaign and be crowned champions in every competition that we contest. SuperSport United is a big team and fighting for top honours is part of the ethos that defines this club’s culture.
“Our form so far has been good and it challenges us to continue performing well.We believe that we can achieve our goals for this season if we continue working hard. As the captain, I feel a huge responsibility placed on my shoulders to lead by example and encourage the boys to fight on,” said the veteran defender.
Bhasera said despite being knocked out of the MTN 8 Cup in the quarter-finals by Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United are still gunning for the championship crown and prestigious Nedbank Cup title.
He expressed confidence that Mantsantatsa will resume on the front foot when they return to action after the World Cup on December 30 against Washing Arubi’s Marumo Gallants.
Bhasera added that their minimum target in the league campaign this term is to make a quantum leap and improve on last season’s eighth position.
SuperSport United are keen to break into the top four.
The ambitious side have not managed to secure a fourth place finish over the last five seasons, ending the campaigns on eighth, fifth (twice), sixth and seventh.
Bhasera said they are itching to participate in the CAF inter-club competitions as well and that can only come with a glorious campaign on the domestic front.
Matsatsantsa last won the league title in 2010 and their last knockout cup triumph came in 2019 as MTN8 champions under ex-Dynamos and Warriors defence kingpin, KaitanoTembo.
Their best run in the African safari was as losing finalists in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup final, going down to TP Mazembe2-1 on aggregate.
Said the versatile and utility left-footed player: “To be among the best, we have to always compete at the top level of the game. We have a squad that is capable of delivering. We just need to stay focused and determined in pursuit of our set targets. If we remain a formidable force then we can achieve great things. Our quest is to lift silverware.”
As one of the oldest and longest serving players, not only in the league but at his club as well, Bhasera (36) is expected to provide leadership and guidance in the Matsatsantsa locker-room.
He was rewarded with captaincy at the start of this season for being a mainstay at the club.
SuperSport United have been home to Bhasera for the past six years after his switch from from Bidvest Wits in July 2016 when they disbanded.
For his outstanding performances in the 2019 MTN8 triumph, the La Sakubva Juniors product was honoured with the coach’s award.
The former Kaizer Chiefs defender has been plying his trade in South Africa since 2005 after joining Maritzburg United, formerly Tembisa Classic.
He has also turned out for Golden Arrows and Jomo Cosmos. Bhasera also enjoyed a brief spell at Plymouth Argyle in England.