JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs’ performance against Orlando Pirates in the Carling Black Label Cup tomorrow afternoon will set the tone for the team next season.
Those were the sentiments of Chiefs’ midfielder George Maluleka as the team head into their last and arguably most demanding test of the pre-season.
Pre-season is used to plan for the upcoming term, while all players start on a clean slate. And once a team faces hurdles in that preliminary stage of the season, they are bound to struggle. That was the case when Chiefs spent the better part of the last pre-season without then coach Giovanni Solinas, who was registered on the eve of their Premiership opener. They crumbled just before the Christmas break.
Enter Ernst Middendorp in December. The German steered the team to ninth place, while the club’s barren run extended to four seasons. With Middendorp having marshalled his team’s pre-season, there seems to be a breath of fresh air at Naturena.
“It’s always very important to prepare from the start to finish, with the same goal and vision,” Maluleka stated. “The guys are very focused and we’ve had a lot of meetings (about what needs to be done next season) and obviously with a lot of sessions. But the goal, mission and vision are very clear. So, our preparations have been going very well.”