New signing Thatayaone Ditlhokwe came to Kaizer Chiefs to grow as a player

FILE - Kaizer Chiefs head coach Molefi Ntseki. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

FILE - Kaizer Chiefs head coach Molefi Ntseki. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 25, 2023


Thatayaone Ditlhokwe believes he’s still on course to achieve his targets at Kaizer Chiefs, even though the team haven’t had the best start to the season.

Dithlokwe was one of several signings that joined Chiefs during pre-season with the hope of aiding the revival of the ‘mighty’ Amakhosi, who’ve fallen from grace in recent seasons.

However, life as a Chiefs player hasn’t got off to an ideal start for Ditlhokwe, as they are winless in three DStv Premiership matches – with their sole win coming in the MTN8.

And while it’s still early days in the season, their league troubles have put them on the back foot, with defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns already 14 points ahead.

Nonetheless, the former SuperSport United captain is still backing his decision to join the Glamour Boys on a four-year deal, saying everything is still on the right track.

“When I came to Chiefs, my main aim was to grow as a player,” Ditlhokwe said in Naturena yesterday.

“So, every passing time, training session and information I get from the coaches is contributing to my growth. And I think it will continue to do so.”

But while Ditlhokwe believes he’s growing at Amakhosi and will continue to do so, Chiefs supporters are yet to be convinced by the impact of the changes in the team this season.

It resulted in them pelting new coach Molefi Ntseki with missiles after their 1-0 loss to TS Galaxy on Sunday – an incident that resulted in a charge of misconduct by the PSL disciplinary committee.

And that’s not all. The failure of players to adapt at the Soweto giants have increased the volume with the outside noise that Chiefs’ scouting is failing to attract the relevant players.

Ditlhokwe, though, refutes allegations that he and his fellow newbies are not fit to don the famous gold-and-black colours of the club, saying they’ll get better with time.

“Any player that comes into a new environment can adapt to the culture and become one of the family,” the 24-year-old defender explained.

“I think there’s no need for us to judge ourselves, whether we are good or bad players. Where we were coming from, we were obviously excelling.

“So, why should we judge ourselves now? Even where we come from, we once faced the situations that we are facing now.

“It’s about digging deep, being focused, and then the results will come.”

Time is something that Ditlhokwe and Chiefs do not have. They’ll have to overturn their fortunes against ‘draw specialists’ AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium tomorrow night (kick-off 5.30pm).

Otherwise they run the risk of another frustrated reaction from their supporters, who have also been on the neck of goalkeeper Brandon Petersen.

Petersen has conceded two goals from blunders in the last two league matches, which saw Chiefs fans calling on Ntseki to replace him with either Bruce Bvuma or Itumeleng Khune.

Ntseki has continued to back his No 1 after Petersen ensured the scoreline remained respectable in both matches with some vital saves, while Ditlhokwe also said it’s not the time to play the blame game.


IOL Sport