Samir Nurkovic shone with a hat-trick as Kaizer Chiefs beat Bloemfontein Celtic in Durban. Photo: Howard Cleland/BackpagePix
Samir Nurkovic shone with a hat-trick as Kaizer Chiefs beat Bloemfontein Celtic in Durban. Photo: Howard Cleland/BackpagePix

It’s all about the team for Nurkovic

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Dec 10, 2019

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Samir Nurkovic is not about to get carried away, although he must have been doing a victory dance deep inside and pondering the possibility of personal glory come the end of the season.

Fresh from scoring a hat-trick that helped Kaizer Chiefs stage a remarkable come-from-behind 5-3 Absa Premiership victory over Bloemfontein Celtic at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night, the Serbian striker was typically humble as he reflected on the match.

“This is my job. I’m not very excited but I’m happy that I scored three goals. I’m happy about the team’s victory which is the most important thing. This is not about me, it is about team effort. I’m happy that we collected three points.”

That could well be the case. After all, nothing would be more fulfilling for a player than to win the championship in your debut season in a foreign country.

But it would be equally thrilling to add some individual glory to that success and for the striker who now sits on eight league goals before the season’s halfway mark, dreaming of the Golden Boot cannot be deemed far-fetched.

Nurkovic is joint top scorer with Highlands Park’s Peter Shalulile and given Amakhosi’s incredible run of form, the smart money is on the PSL debutant to keep banging them in.

And the man himself certainly has those lofty ambitions. “There’s a lot of games to play. I will try and do my job as best as possible. At the end we will see...”

Unlike in previous seasons when it appeared no-one wanted the top scorer award, there seems to be a healthy appetite to find the net this campaign. The likes of Kermit Erasmus, Bongi Ntuli, Bradley Grobler and Knox Mutizwa have all been pretty lethal and are sure to give Nurkovic competition for the Golden Boot.

But the Chiefs marksman insists it is all about the bigger picture.

“We want to continue collecting points. At the end we will see where that takes us. I’ve always believed that we are capable of winning the league. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe. But there’s still a lot of games to play. All we have to do is to focus on the next games,” explained the man who has scored once in the Telkom Knockout to be on nine strikes overall this season.

That Amakhosi went to eastern Europe to find him was because of the uncharacteristic trophy drought they have endured for four seasons.

Chiefs were last league champions under Stuart Baxter back in the 2014/15 season and part of their failure was the lack of a lethal finisher.

In Nurkovic they appear to have found the answer and the fact that the Serbian does not make it all about himself could be key to them being crowned champions in May.

He will have to repeat feats such as those from Saturday, though, if the league title is to be taken from Chloorkop and to a new home at Naturena.

And it will most probably come with the Golden Boot, although Nurkovic is mainly concerned about the former.


The Star

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