Vaal University of Technology winger Sipho ‘Klate’ Makae has been touted to become a South African international but the humble talent is not taking the praise to his head as he aims to end his final year in Varsity Football with a bang.
Sipho Makae, 23, was raised by his grandmother in Sebokeng Zone 12, along with his older brother and sister and started playing football at the age of 11 with his local club Zone 10 United.
After seven years with the team, he ventured to Vaal Professionals in 2017, who were playing their trade in the ABC Motsepe League before a stint at Barcelona in the SAB before his rollercoaster ride eventually saw him attached to VUT.
“I started my first here at VUT in 2019 but I didn’t play for the team, I then started playing for VUT this year as it’s I was entering my final years of studying. I didn’t want to complicate my studies and football,” Makae tells Varsity Sports.
“There were many teams interested in the ABC, I decided against it because of my studies then I took the decision and we did quite well in the league.”
The speedy winger who was one of their standout players last time around and quite noticeable with the peroxided hairstyle reminiscent of a young Daine Klate admits he’s learnt some lessons from his first tournament that saw them narrowly miss out on the semi-finals despite some flowing displays.
“I’ve learnt that we shouldn’t concede early goals, if we get opportunities we need to punish as we did against UKZN in the opener, these early goals matter. If we don’t score we shouldn’t concede like against TUT,” he said.
“We conceded more than 10 goals, that’s one thing we need to rectify, not to concede more goals than the last tournament, I remember we conceded five goals against UJ last time but this time it will be a different story.
“We’re more focused, our preparation during Covid last time didn’t go well. Myself, I’ve learnt to be more creative, to be a team player and to have the composure to score goals.”
TUT head coach Bushy Moloi was so impressed by him in their previous encounter he stated he should be utilised in the national team and while Makae has been left with a non-stop smile on his face by their promising start, he’s not ready to get carried away.
“I’m happy that we started with a win, last time we lost against Wits – I’m happy with the results, I’m hoping to get three points against UFS, of which it will give us an advantage of seven points, I’m happy with our start,” he continued.
“I don’t have much to say about what [Busy Moloi] said about representing the country, it’s all about my team, my institution that we deliver positive results. When we win, we win as a team – but I’m honoured that he said that and I’m honoured he saw my work.
“Last year against them, I scored the first goal against him but I’m honoured by his words, I will keep on pushing harder, maybe it will be enough to represent the country one day.”
Makae is currently in his fourth year of Industrial Engineering and will be aiming to make what looks set to be his final year a memorable one on and off the field.