Kaizer Chiefs’ trophy aspirations may be pinned on the small shoulders of Khama Billiat but the Zimbabwe international takes delight in the way his teammates are also coming to the party.
A decade ago, Aces Youth Academy in Zimbabwe had two hot properties, Billiat and Knowledge Musona, but when South Africa’s most successful side, Chiefs, came knocking, they only opted to sign the latter.
Billiat, on the other hand, was signed by Ajax Cape Town in 2010 before moving after three seasons to join Pretoria giants Mamelodi Sundowns, where he won the CAF Champions League, CAF Super Cup, three Premiership titles, the Telkom Knockout and a Nedbank Cup.
Two seasons ago, however, Billiat’s marriage with the Brazilians came to an abrupt end, the 29-year-old joining Chiefs.
Life in Naturena got off an underwhelming start, enduring a trophy drought in his first season, while the team disappointingly finished ninth in the league.
During the transfer window, Sundowns Chiefs for Billiat’s return to Chloorkop, but Amakhosi hung on to their talisman, as he is key to their title aspirations.
And so far, so good. Chiefs are sitting comfortably at the summit of the Premiership standings with 19 points after eight matches.
“I always want to do better. I am working hard and always will. I always challenge myself to do better than the last game and see how far I can go,” Billiat said.
“Like I indicated when I got here, I want to win trophies. But we’ve got to work for them. Everyone has to think the same way and we look like a team that understands what we need this time around. But there’s still a lot of things to work on. I think we are heading in the right direction. We just have to stay injury free, so that we can have a good run.”
Chiefs get their first shot at redemption this term through the Telkom Knockout that gets underway this weekend.
On Saturday (3pm), Amakhosi will travel to Cape Town Stadium to face Cape Town City, who are looking for their first win in six matches.
Billiat, who’s scored against the Citizens in their last two meetings, says they’ll use the TKO competition to fix the heartbreaks of the past in cup competitions.
“I feel every time we play in a cup competition, it’s becoming closer for us. We just have to do better. We need to look at what we did wrong the last time we played in the cup and how are we going to tackle this one,” he explained.
Chiefs are in fine form. On Saturday, they trounced Sundowns, the Premiership champions, 4-2 to win the 2019 Shell Helix Ultra Cup.
That victory though was made sweeter by the Billiat and Leornado Castro’s combination, who resurrected their potent strike partnership at Chiefs that made Sundowns a force to be reckoned with around the continent.
“Position wise, he (Castro) gets in spaces and he’s always aware of his surroundings, and it’s easy to run around him,” Billiat explained.