Kaizer Chiefs starlet Wandile Duba: ‘Orlando Pirates must expect me .. I’m coming’

Kaizer Chiefs youngster Wandile Duba dribbles with the ball.

Kaizer Chiefs youngster Wandile Duba has been preparing to score in the Soweto derby for ‘three years’. Picture: @KaizerChiefs on X

Published Mar 8, 2024


Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson says doing well in the Soweto derby will inject a huge morale boost in their bid to return to African football next season.

Chiefs will visit arch-rivals Orlando Pirates on Saturday afternoon (3.30pm kick-off) in the biggest sporting event in the land in front of an expected 90,000-strong capacity crowd at the FNB Stadium hoping to kill many birds with one stone.

Three points for Chiefs will not only mean that they’ll scoop the bragging rights, but it will give them a much-needed breather.

Chiefs are in a pit. They stretched their barren trophy run to nine seasons after losing out on the MTN8, Carling Knockout and Nedbank Cup recently.

The DStv Premiership title is also out of reach, but Chiefs could still save their league season by finishing in the top three, thereby returning to continental football in either the CAF Champions League or Confederation Cup.

So, with the Amakhosi only two points behind second-placed Stellenbosch FC, Johnson knows that they could move closer to a coveted finish if they get the better of the Buccaneers tomorrow.

“That’s one of the club objectives (returning to Africa). It has been for a while,” Johnson said at the prematch media conference in Sandton yesterday.

“If we are able to do this on Saturday, it will just give us a lot more to play for, so that we can end up as high as we can in the league.

“I think there’s still about 11 games left. So, if we do get a positive result tomorrow, which we are hoping for, it will put us in a good position going forward.”

Chiefs will need to dig deep to get that positive result, given that they are the underdogs as they lost the last two derbies.

The Glamour Boys, though, have something to boast about as goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma has kept seven clean sheets in the last eight games in all competitions.

Bvuma should be confident of continuing with his fine form in the derby, especially with the return of his idol Itumeleng Khune from a three-month suspension.

Khune is the most senior player in the team, having played 28 derbies with the club, hence his experience and guidance will be invaluable.

“Itu has come back, and we’ve welcomed him back. So, for sure, I think he has a lot to do in gelling the changing room together at this moment,” Johnson said.

“I think he has more than 20 derbies under his belt. He brings that extra energy and calmness with his experience in the dressing room and the players.”

Another player who could benefit from the experience of Khune is Wandile Duba, the 19-year-old striker who’s the talk of town this week.

Duba had a full debut to remember for Chiefs on Tuesday, scoring a scorcher that ended Chiefs’ winless streak this year against Golden Arrows at home.

The Chiefs reserve team graduate also took a swipe at Pirates after his exploits against Arrows, saying “they must expect me because I am coming”.

Johnson, though, isn’t bothered by the attention Duba is getting ahead of the derby, saying he’s been waiting for this opportunity for years.

“Duba has been planning for this for the last three years. He’s been preparing himself mentally to play a derby with Kaizer Chiefs,” Johnson said.

“He’s been preparing himself with the reserve team to score goals, so what better time for him if he gets an opportunity to come into the derby and score?”

Johnson, who’s one of the best coaches at nurturing talent, says Duba scoring in the derby could be a crowning moment after Tuesday’s effort.

“For me, the excitement of Wandile coming in and scoring is not new, but it would be very new if he came in and scored a goal in the Soweto derby,” he said.