Willard Katsande will play in his 200th game wearing the Gold & Black jersey against Cape Town City on Wednesday evening. “I never expected to play that many games for Kaizer Chiefs,” the Zimbabwean midfielder proudly comments about this milestone. “This is really great.”
The 31-year-old joined Kaizer Chiefs in 2011, making his debut when coming on for Siphiwe Tshabalala in the MTN8 final that year. Unfortunately, Amakhosi lost 1-0 to Orlando Pirates.
“I used to watch the Soweto Derby even when I was still in Zimbabwe,” Katsande reflects, “the first Derby was tough and the pressure immense. However, in recent years I have learnt to handle the pressure of a Derby.”
His first goal for the Glamour Boys came in 2014, helping his side beat the Buccaneers 1-0. “That was an amazing experience,” the midfielder reacts. “I will never forget that goal.”
Katsande has started in 191 games for Chiefs and came on as a substitute in a further eight. These include all official matches, including those for the league, the various cups and the CAF competitions. For example, the Zimbabwean has started in 11 African Champions League clashes for Amakhosi.
The hard-tackling defensive midfielder also regularly finds the back of the net – 14 times since scoring his first goal for Chiefs in 2014. His most recent goal came in the Absa Premiership encounter against Maritzburg United on 11 February 2017. Katsande scored the 1-0 in a 2-1 victory.
The Zimbabwean is a fighter, who during last season, won 75% of all battles with his opponents on the ground. That is a formidable statistic.
About Wednesday’s Cape Town City match, Katsande comments: “We lost 3-2 last season in Cape Town, while playing so well. It was an enthralling match and it was actually one of our best performances in the 2016/2017 Absa Premiership season. If we deliver that kind of quality football again, we will win this time around.
“I also hope that our fans will turn up in numbers at the Cape Town Stadium. They are always great and we need their support. We definitely owe them and we will reward their continuous support come Wednesday evening.”