Long-standing servant Masehe, 34, featured in 31 games for Ea Lla Koto, while 36-year-old Mahamutsa played in 25 as the Free State club finished a commendable sixth in the Absa Premiership before going on to take Nedbank Cup honours, the club’s first trophy in 24 years.
And Belgian coach Eymael was quick to praise the efforts of the pair for their displays across the 2017/18 campaign.
“I have a lot of respect for Masehe and also Mahamutsa,” he said. “In 2012/13 I was here in South Africa and I didn’t get a team, but I knew these players and knew the PSL. Guys like that are leaders at training – they train like they play, giving everything. Paulus has not retired – he will play another year. He’s a leader in the change room and training, and it’s fantastic for a coach to have guys like them who respect you and we also respect them – you have to remember these guys are 35, 36 years old.”
Eymael believes the experience such players bring is invaluable to the squad, especially ahead of next year’s CAF Confederation Cup campaign where Stars will make their debut in Africa.
“When you have guys with this experience, they are every important,” he continued. “Why is Mamelodi Sundowns so strong? Yes, they are financially very strong, the richest club in the country, but they’ve been in Africa for several years and gained experience, so it’s very important – when it gets tough, you need players like that who will not lose their focus, who will coach other players and help you – that’s very important.
“You can’t take experience away from a player – that’s what makes them better and takes them to a higher level.”
As confirmed by Eymael, Masehe will spend another year with Ea Lla Koto, while Mahamutsa has told KickOff.com he is still weighing up his options.