The story between Gabadinho and the Swallows coach Komphela is decade-old in the PSL. It is one of mutual respect.
It dates back to the time the forward first arrived in Mzansi in 2013 from Malawi in search for PSL’s greener pastures.
INSPIRED BY FAILED TRIALS IN PSL
Gabadinho was then young and raw, hoping to make a name in the PSL with AmaZulu being his first port of call.
The Flames attacker first underwent trials at AmaZulu, but they decided against signing him.
After hitting the wall at Usuthu, the eventual 2019 PSL Golden Boot Award winner moved to Bloemfontein Celtic.
Once again trials at Siwelele did not pay dividends. He crossed the floor to Free State Stars.
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INCIDENT THAT MARKED THE START OF GABADINHO AND KOMPHELA RELATIONSHIP
It was during one of the usual football chats with Free State Stars captain Paulus Masehe at training that Gabadinho made a joke.
Komphela picked the ‘bad’ joke and had a chat about it with Gabadinho.
As a punishment, the former Mamelodi Sundowns coach told the Malawian to do push-ups.
EX-WITS’ STRIKER’S PROMISE TO KOMPHELA
Since that time, the former BidVest Wits leading scorer said he has always done push-ups when playing for Komphela or against his team.
It is kind of a promise to the coach.
It was in that respect that the 30-year-old led the entire Swallows team mates to do push-ups after scoring in the 3-1 win over Cape Town Spurs last week.
The Chiweta-born star scored from a free-kick in the midweek DStv Premiership match.
The former Pirates player recalled that incident in Free State when asked why he opted to celebrate his Swallows goal via pushups.
“When I first arrived in South Africa, it was at Free State Stars where I had gone for trials and he [Komphela] made me do push-ups,” Gabadinho said.
“Since that time, even in training and when I score for his team or against his team, I do push-ups to remind him of that incident. It is funny.”
That incident made the goal-poacher strive to prove himself in Mzansi.
‘HE MADE ME DO 200 PUSHUPS’
“He actually made me do 200 pushups and it was obviously hard for me. I remember that I went back home to Malawi after the trials. I just felt like it wasn’t for me,” Gabadinho said.
However, now all that is history for the Malawian who has made a name in South Africa football circles.
The Malawian has made it two goals in the colours of the Dube Birds.
Gabadinho said the Free State incident marked the start of a special relationship with Komphela.
The Flames player credited his rich vein of form to Komphela who signed him from AmaZulu.
The former Nyasa Big Bullets forward described Komphela as a father figure, adding that he has always wanted to work with him.
Komphela revealed about the special relationship he has with Gabadinho.
“There is this thing with me and Mhango that I always mention—pushups. Even in my first-time encounter with him, it was pushups,” Komphela said.
“When he scored, I think he was playing for Celtic, he did pushups reminding me of the punishment that I gave him.”