Highlands Park coach Owen Da Gama has backed Kaizer Chiefs to win the PSL title come May. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Highlands Park coach Owen “Rubber Doll” Da Gama has backed Kaizer Chiefs to win the PSL title come May.

It has been an eventful six months for Chiefs, rising to prominence of being title contenders after occupying the summit of the league standings for the better part of this season, where they have bagged 38 points after 16 matches.

On Wednesday, Chiefs continued to crack the whip on their opponents; this time hammering Da Gama’s Highlands 3-0 at a packed FNB Stadium, where Amakhosi’s faithful, legends and chairman, Kaizer “Chincha Guluva” Motaung had also gathered to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary, which was on Tuesday.

While Chiefs mopped the floor with the Lions of North on the field, Da Gama was sober in his post-match analysis and how far his opponents have come as a brand.

“First and foremost, I think that you’ve got to say congratulations to Kaizer Chiefs. This (the 50th) is a historic moment. And I think for myself as a South African, and a football person, throughout all my life of having played and coached against Chiefs, it was an honour being in the ring against them today,” Da Gama said.

Chiefs’ profound history over the years is what made Da Gama become overwhelmed by being first coach to face the club after their 50th anniversary.

Amakhosi are the most successful club in South African football, having won 93 trophies - official and unofficial - in the last 50 years.

Such is Chiefs’ profound history on and off the field and looming return to glory, after four-and-a-half years without a trophy, that the Highlands coach put his head on the block and backed the Soweto giants to lift the league title in four months’ time.

“To me, I always put it this way that if Kaizer Chiefs and Pirates win the league - and Sundowns have won it a number of times - that augurs well for South African football,” Da Gama said.

“The amount of work that goes into the brand of Kaizer Chiefs is just unbelievable and mind-blogging. So, I definitely think it would be good for South African football (if Chiefs win the league).”

Da Gama, however, stressed that in order to win the championship they will have to show hunger and apply the coach’s instructions on the field of play.

“Hopefully, they have a clean bill of health, and the consistency comes in - of which you can see. But at the end of the day, the coach can do as much as he can. The players must come to the party. And I believe that the Kaizer Chiefs players have the mentality to go all the way, as you’ve seen today,” he said.


The Mercury