Kaitano Tembo excited to see what unheralded SuperSport United midfielder Jesse Donn can do

01 July 2020 - 14:56 By Marc Strydom
Jesse Donn in action during the Absa Premiership match between Supersport United and Chippa United on January 24 2020 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Jesse Donn in action during the Absa Premiership match between Supersport United and Chippa United on January 24 2020 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo is excited to see what unheralded 21-year-old central midfielder Jesse Donn can do given a greater opportunity now that Bafana Bafana international Dean Furman has left the club.

Furman (32) is expected to announce a team he will join in the English Championship soon.

The tireless Chelsea youth product became one of the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) most unsung stars winning the 2016 and 2017 Nedbank Cups with SuperSport‚ who he joined from Doncaster Rovers in 2015.

In the 2019-20 season Furman’s midfield trio with big prospects Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule was the cog of the side that added another trophy‚ the MTN8 in October‚ and who were in third place when the Absa Premiership was suspended due to the coronavirus on March 16.

Highly-rated Jamie Webber (22) has played more than Donn in SuperSport’s midfield‚ with 25 league apperances in the past three seasons.

SA Under-20 international Donn has just the one match off the bench since signing from first division Ubuntu Cape Town in July‚ but is the more defensive midfielder of the two youngsters. Tembo is excited to see what Donn can do when football resumes behind closed doors.

“In the last five years‚ since Dean arrived‚ we built our team around him because he’s been a true‚ true SuperSport United player‚ and it’s a huge loss for us‚” Tembo told an online press conference of the SA Football Journalists Association (Safja).

“At the same time I always try and look at the positives. There are young players who have been training and playing alongside Dean‚ seeing how a professional player behaves in terms of training and attitude towards matches.

“Dean is one player who never cheated us. All these five years‚ I’ll never come up and say‚ ‘This day Dean never did this’.

“I look at it and say‚ OK‚ if you have someone like Dean‚ you also have all these youngsters like Mbule and Mokoena. But there’s also Jesse Donn‚ whose also played and worked alongside Dean.

“And I think this is an opportunity for those young players‚ especially in the last six games‚ to raise their hands.

“Jamie – although he’s a very good player he hasn’t been consistent. And that’s one thing you find with young players.

“Jesse is a very good player‚ who’s played in the Nedbank Cup when he was at Ubuntu‚ and did very well there. So I’m looking forward to seeing him grabbing that opportunity as well‚ and seeing what he can do in those last six games.

“Probably Dean could have been a block in front of those young players‚ but that block’s no longer there so let’s see what they can do.”

Furman was released by SuperSport last month to return to the UK before the season’s closed-doors conclusion.

A PSL Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday laid out how clubs can submit their certification of their compliance with the directive for a return to training‚ paving the way for a return to football in a single-city biologically safe environment in about a month to six weeks.