JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs players Khama Billiat and Mark Booysen on Friday talked about the excitement they feel at being part of the spectacle ahead of the Soweto derby at the FNB Stadium on Saturday (start at 3.30pm).
Pirates go into the match second on the table with 16 points with Chiefs third with 14 points.
“The Soweto derby is like no other local derby or game in the country. The whole country virtually comes to a complete halt when the two Soweto giants meet, and we know that it is an important occasion for the fans," said the Zimbabwe international Billiat.
"I’ve been in South Africa for several years and watched the Soweto derby on television, but have never attended the game.
"It’s a huge privilege to be a part of this spectacle for the first time and I am looking forward to the experience as a player – especially in Kaizer Chiefs colours. I know the atmosphere will be electric and we have to live up to the expectations of the Amakhosi supporters.
"We know it’s not easy, but I believe it’s not about the previous games or form, it’s what you do on the day as a team. We need to work very hard because we know that winning will bring confidence for the rest of the season.
Defender Mario Booysen is also excited: “Derbies are something special, they are about pride and about bragging rights. There is a lot at stake. It’s about two teams coming from the same town or area and who want to dominate.
"I have been involved in a few derbies in the past. For example, the Tshwane derby between SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns.
"From a young age, I watched the matches between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. 'One day I want to be part of this,' I always thought when watching.
"To be part of the Soweto derby is what all players want because the whole country comes to a standstill during that game.
"Of course, I don’t know if I will play, sit on the bench or be in the stands come Saturday – it doesn’t matter, just to be part of the Soweto derby will be something amazing. Those are the moments every South African footballer lives for.
"I want to contribute to the team in whatever role. I can’t wait for the Soweto derby to kick off. It will be a memorable moment,”
African News Agency (ANA)