JOHANNESBURG – Beleaguered after their underwhelming efforts in the past four seasons, Kaizer Chiefs target the pre-season Carling Black Label Cup triumph as that could provide the needed turnaround at the club.
Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will once more bring the country to a standstill when they clash in the pre-season friendly at FNB Stadium on Saturday (Kick-off at 3pm).
Deemed as the “Cup Kings of South African Football”, Chiefs have had a dismal run in maintaining that prestigious tag as their trophy cabinet has garnered only dust in the last four seasons.
“Going on to the field as Kaizer Chiefs, we are not going to give much away. Even in our preparations, we tried as much as possible to hide them away. We didn’t play with familiar clubs or at public venues. We treated it as a real cooking competition as we didn’t want to give our recipes away,” Chiefs spokesperson Vina Maphosa said at the Carling’s Media Briefing at FNB Stadium yesterday.
“On display this Saturday, it will be crème de la crème of what is going to surprise most people in the upcoming season. We’ll start with Orlando Pirates and show them what Kaizer Chiefs is made of.”
With the starting Xl's of both teams selected by the public through a voting system that closes at midnight, the Chiefs supporters will likely see some of their new signings in action on Saturday.
In ensuring their unpleasant spell doesn’t go on, Amakhosi have already bolstered their squad with four signings. Zambian talisman Lazarous Kambole is by far the club’s biggest signing, after making a multimillion rand move from Zesco United in mid-June. In the heart of the engine room, the team was bolstered by the arrival of Ghanaian James Kotei and Australian Kearyn Baccus.
Upfront, Chiefs brought on board Serbian Samir Nurkovic. However, hoping to put the misfortunes of the past behind them and go toe-to-toe with rivals Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates in challenging for major honours next season, Chiefs are still hoping to raid the market.
“We didn’t sign a long-list of players but we went for quality. This time, we are coming up with bombs,” Maphosa stated. “We’ve signed only four players but anytime is tea time, especially considering that the window period will only close at the end of next month.”
Meanwhile, with the tickets already sold out, supporters without valid accreditation for the match are urged to stay clear of the stadium on Saturday. Moreover, supporters with fake tickets will be apprehended by police officers.
People with tickets are asked to arrive early to avoid congestion getting into the stadium.@Mihlalibaleka