Mashiane has enjoyed a progressive rise since his promotion from the Chiefs Multichoice Diski Challenge side to the first team in January and has made three consecutive starts thus far.
The 21-year-old, who is deployed as a left-wing-back, got his first taste of the biggest fixture on the PSL calendar as he started against Orlando Pirates on Saturday despite only recently stepping into the squad.
The German tactician expressed his distaste for modern-day ‘promotion’ talk that traditionally sees youngsters added merely to make up the numbers in a squad, and further explained how he views Mashiane’s progression and the reason behind his limited game-time.
“I hate this thing of when talking about ‘promoting players’ it’s just to add numbers [to the squad], but from our side, that’s not what we do,” said Middendorp.
“We promoted Happy, who is regularly in the starting XI, and I can say now already that he will start again on the weekend in Port Elizabeth [against The Magic FC in the Nedbank Cup].
“But we have to manage, which is a normal thing to do, by watching these guys [young players] – sometimes 45 minutes is enough; sometimes 60 minutes is enough, but we do put them in.
“These types of games [Derby] are intensive games where you can express yourself but can and should not get carried away – and that’s something you need to test where a player is in terms of his mindset.
“But Happy played well – he did his job, there’s no doubt about that, but our job as the technical team is to observe him and give him the right number of minutes.”