Making promises can be very dangerous, especially when you are making those promises to your club’s demanding supporters. However, Kaizer Chiefs captain and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune yesterday was bold enough to say Amakhosi would win everything on offer this season.
Chiefs were deposed as league and Nedbank Cup champions last season, and failed to get their hands on the other two knockout knockout competitions locally. But they are determined to get back to winning ways and avoid another trophy-less campaign.
“It’s been a great journey for the club since we got back from pre-season. The players are in top shape and everyone is ready. We disappointed our fans last season because we did not win anything. Our promise to them is that we will make a clean sweep. We will win everything that is on offer. We are not going to make it easy for any team that plays against us this season,” said Khune.
“The players are hungrier than ever before. A lot of issues have been addressed from last season. We need to be more consistent.”
Khune has backed the club’s new signings to play an integral role in the club’s quest for total domination.
Amakhosi this week announced the signings of Zimbabwean Ovidy Karuru and youngster Phakamani Mngadi, adding to the two players they had already acquired during the off season – Siphelele Mthembu and Levy Mokgothu. Amakhosi have also promoted three players – Hendrick Ekstein, Chris Matombo and Zitha Macheke – from their development squad and Khune feels the club have made the right decision to promote the boys. Khune himself came from the club’s development and was given a chance to play ahead of experienced goalkeepers by then-coach Muhsin Ertugral.
“Clubs and coaches are scared to risk with young players because they want to protect their jobs. We have promoted three good players. Youth players have to be given a chance to play in the first team to get the experience.”
The goalkeeper feels Karuru will be a good replacement for injured striker Bernard Parker, who finished last season as the league’s top scorer with 10 goals.
“Karuru did very well against Chippa United in a friendly and since then he has been doing well at training. I think he will push for a place in the team. Karuru is a good replacement for Parker.”
On Sunday, Chiefs face Mpumalanga Black Aces, who beat Amakhosi last season at FNB Stadium to all but end the club’s title bid, in the MTN8. Khune is determined to get back at Clive Barker’s team when they meet again.
“It’s important that we set the tone by winning the first match. They came to FNB last season and beat us 1-0. So they will come to FNB again this time highly motivated, thinking they can upset us. We are in front of our fans and we need to make sure that we go through to the semis,” Khune concluded. - The Star