Spirited Chiefs fightback on cards

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Kaizer Jul 9 Gallo Images Former Chiefs' attacker Kaizer Motaung jnr is expecting the Amakhosi to put on a strong bid to reclaim their crown. Photo: Lefty Shivambu

Johannesburg – Having retired from the game last season and now watching on from the sidelines, former Kaizer Chiefs attacker Kaizer Motaung jnr says he expects the team to make a renewed fight to reclaim their Premiership crown.

Chiefs followed up their championship-winning 2012-13 campaign with a disappointing last season, where the Soweto giants failed to defend their Premiership and Nedbank Cup trophies, while crashing out of the Caf Champions League before reaching the group stages.

Chiefs relinquished league honours to Mamelodi Sundowns last season and although Amakhosi’s trophyless 2013-14 season was not all bad – they reached the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout and MTN8 – Motaung said a lack of silverware is not something the club and its supporters was used to.

“It’s unfortunate how it turned out and that Sundowns took the title. The title was in our hands, we had an 11-point gap. Everyone talks about it and it’s true, it was there,” Motaung said at the team’s new kit launch in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“The team did everything they could to win it last year and it was a learning curve for a lot of the players.

“Credit to Sundowns, they did what they had to do and they are the champions.”

Coach Stuart Baxter and his backroom staff had been hard at work strengthening their squad ahead of the start to the new season in August.

The Glamour Boys last week confirmed the capture of striker Siphelele Mthembu on a three-year deal from Platinum Stars, having already snapped up defender Levy Mokgothu from Moroka Swallows in June.

“The guys have been hard at work. They’ve had a short break – a very short break – and they can’t wait to get back on the job very quickly,” Motaung said.

“They’ve regrouped, it’s a new story. The players had a tough season, they’re looking good physically and they’re just itching to get back out on the field again.

“The technical team sat down and identified players who they’d like to come in. Levy and Siphelele are welcome members to the family and we look forward to seeing what the new players bring.”

Baxter’s troops concluded a five-day camp at the North West University in Potchefstroom on Monday and would train in Port Elizabeth from July 11-21, before tackling Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates in the Carling Black Label Cup at FNB Stadium on July 26, their first assignment of the season. – Sapa



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