Edmore Chirambadare reacts during a match. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG – Edmore Chirambadare had no heads-up from his countrymen about the pressure of playing for Kaizer Chiefs.

Being from Gweru in Zimbabwe, Amakhosi’s in-form man says there was no way he could have sought advice from former Chiefs players Tinashe Nengomasha, Knowledge Musona, Onismor Bhasera and even current teammate Willard Katsande when he was signed from Chicken Inn at the start of the season.

“I didn’t know them that well, and I live quite far from the capital city (Harare). It would have been good to meet and chat, but that didn’t happen. So you can say I came in completely blind to the Chiefs culture, but having been here for sometime now, I understand what playing for this club is all about,” explains Chirambadare.

He’s certainly adapted well – evidence being that the 25-year-old is keeping George Lebese on the Amakhosi bench, which is likely to continue on Saturday night when Chiefs host the Absa Premiership defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium (8.15pm kickoff).

That’s a big deal, especially considering how compatriot Michelle Katsvairo and Zambian Lewis Macha – the other new recruits – have struggled.

“I am grateful that the supporters were patient with me,” says Chirambadare, who has turned critics into admirers.

“Sometimes fans don’t like seeing a new guy take too long to adjust, but I feel they didn’t do that with me.

“But even if that wasn’t the case, it’s important for a player to focus on the job and not take things to heart, because it is possible to experience a dip in form and then you come back up to your level again.

“And when that happens, you have to maintain it. That is how you win over those who hate you.”

Chirambadare has definitely won over coach Steve Komphela, who, along with football manager Bobby Motaung, have taken some hits with regard to the club’s transfer policy.

The fact that one of the new players in Chirambadare is beginning to show true potential has brought some much-needed relief.

He also wants to lift a league trophy in his debut season, but Sundowns are just one of the obstacles along the way.

Chiefs now have nine matches left and are fourth on the log, while the Brazilians, who are just two points behind, still have four matches in hand.

“We obviously know how important the game is and know the significance of winning it,” says Chirambadare. “For me, winning a trophy in my first year with the club will be a great achievement and I am looking forward to it.”


Saturday Star