JOHANNESBURG – Considering he’s the most decorated Kazier Chiefs player when it comes to bagging silverware in the past six seasons, Khama Billiat is banking on the performances that inspired him to garner seven trophies with Mamelodi Sundowns to do the trick for his current club in the next two matches of the Nedbank Cup.
In the last five seasons at Sundowns, Billiat won three Absa Premiership titles, a Nedbank Cup, a Telkom Knockout, a Caf Champions League and a Caf Super Cup. Then Billiat joined Chiefs who’ve been enduring a three year-barren run.
His contributions are yet to come to the fore at his new home.
They visit Chippa United in the semi-finals on Saturday (8.15pm) at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
“As we reach the end of the season, it’s becoming tougher in every game that we play. In the cup, it’s now more difficult and it requires all the players not to concede the mistakes that we did before,” Billiat said.
“(However) I believe I have something to offer to the team, the knowledge of the game and having been in this situation a couple of times. (I’ll) just try to bring confidence to everyone and be the best teammate to my fellow brothers - make sure we have the right communication in the game.”
In nine months with the club, Billiat has done it all at Chiefs. Then coach Giovanni Solinas gave him royal receptions by “bowing to him” and deeming his contributions to the team on par to those of five-time Ballon D’or winner Lionel Messi for FC Barcelona.
However, enter Ernst Middendorp, and the Zimbabwean has become ordinary. He’s had his fair share of being dropped to the bench or sent to the stands.
“As a player, you always want to contribute more - regardless of other things that you can’t control, such as injuries,” Billiat said. “Anytime you are given a chance, you just want to give everything you can. I just wish and trust that when I look at my contributions at the end of the season, I’ll see things in a different way.”
In Chiefs’ 26 league matches so far, Billiat has missed two, while he’s the team’s top goal scorer with five strikes and six assists. However, he can’t be proud of that contribution, especially playing for demanding supporters who were used to at least one trophy per season before the hoodoo.
Moreover, the inability of Leonardo Castro and Billiat to replicate the form that earned them the “CBD” nickname (which also had Keagan Dolly) from Sundowns has left the supporters unimpressed.
“As strikers, we haven’t been scoring as much as we wanted to. But we’ll try by all means to work on combinations and to create chances,” Billiat said.@Mihlalibaleka