“I have achieved something great,” Bernard Parker reflects on his 50th goal wearing the Gold and Black jersey. “It’s a good achievement, although I am not entirely happy because with my standards and quality I would have wanted to have reached this milestone earlier.”
‘Die Hond’ scored the equaliser against Free State Star in the weekend. It was his 50th since getting his first goal for Amakhosi on debut against Bidvest Wits on 7 August 2011. Chiefs won that match 2-1.
Parker has now started in 181 official matches for the Glamour Boys, while coming on in another 39. It means that he has played 220 games in total in which the striker has netted 50 times (41 league, eight cup and one African Champions League goal).
“I am now in my seventh season at Chiefs,” the 31-year-old says. “To score 50 goals is great, but it’s not enough, especially when looking at what is the going rate of scoring in Europe, as that’s the top level and that’s where the standard is set.”
South African strikers have on average been struggling in recent seasons to score a lot of goals. “A striker is dependent on the balls he gets provided with,” Parker analyses. “If you don’t get the right balls, you can’t score or you are unable to put the ball in the back of the net often enough.
“In general, strikers score one out of three goalscoring opportunities they get, that’s 33.3%. Scoring is also about applying the correct (kicking) technique, even when being put under heavy pressure by the defenders. It’s all about that technique.
“However, let’s be honest, how many kids get taught about the technique needed to score goals. That’s where it starts and we can only solve our lack of scoring in the PSL if we go back to the basics, which is at the youth development level. That’s where the foundation is laid.”
Parker is happy to be one of those relatively few strikers who have donned the Kaizer Chiefs jersey for a considerable time. This is his seventh season since joining the club in 2011.
The striker is also one of the top goalscorers for Bafana Bafana, netting 23 times in 72 games (52 starts and 20 subs).
Parker has been nominated by the Absa Premiership for the goal of the month for October 2017. That was his goal against Mamelodi Sundowns which Chiefs won 2-1. You can vote for his goal on the PSL website: http://www.psl.co.za/competition/goal-of-the-month.
“While still at Chiefs,” Parker concludes, “I want to score a lot more. I want to leave a legacy at the club and to be remembered like some of those other great strikers that played for Amakhosi.”