Sabelo Radebe, Kaizer Chiefs’ reserve team captain, believes the senior team’s successive wins over Orlando Pirates have set the benchmark. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Sabelo Radebe, Kaizer Chiefs’ reserve team captain, believes the senior team’s successive wins over Orlando Pirates have set the benchmark as they head into their own junior Soweto Derby in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge at Dobsonville Stadium tomorrow. 

Three weeks ago, Chiefs, the seniors, knocked Pirates out the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory after the game had ended deadlocked at 2-2 after 120 minutes of action at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. But they were not done. Amakhosi finally got the better of their counterparts in regulation time following a five-year gloomy streak, defeating Pirates 3-2 to remain top of the Premiership at FNB Stadium last weekend. 

Chiefs’ reserve team are now looking at those outcomes as a source of inspiration. “I think they’ve set the standard, and that’s the direction that we need to take. But we need to score and ensure that we stick to our normal game, despite playing in the derby,” Radebe said this week. 

Chiefs will have to achieve that feat without coach Arthur Zwane, who’ll be with national senior head coach Molefe Ntseki when Bafana Bafana continue with their qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations this weekend. Assistant coach Shaun Bartlett is expected to take charge tomorrow, making his second appearance as the reserve team coach this season after crushing Bloemfontein Celtic 7-1 in his maiden assignment. 

Despite being without their coach, Radebe remains adamant that it will be business as usual for Chiefs, who are looking to climb up the log standings after only bagging 19 points out of a possible 39. 

“We still have the same attitude and mentality (with or without the coach), and that is why we’ll go out there and do what we do best as a team,” he said. “We are still keen on winning the Diski, which has eluded us in the last five seasons, so we have to make sure that we don’t drop points this weekend and going forward.” 

Chiefs have arguably the best success rate in players who have made the jump from the reserves to the first team. Njabulo Blom is their latest graduate to take the elite league by the storm, playing a vital role when Chiefs defeated Golden Arrows, Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates in the first round. 

@MihlaliBaleka 


The Star