Billiat ready for Champions League lift off 

Having campaigned extensively in African and International competitions, the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder, Khama Billiat, is looking forward to getting the club’s campaign in the 2020-21 CAF Champions League off to a great start.

The game kicks off at 16:00 South African time on Sunday 29 November 2020 against the Cameroonian champions PWD Bamenda in Limbe in a preliminary round first leg encounter.  

Khama Billiat along with Leonardo Castro made up two thirds of the striking powerhouse of the Mamelodi Sundowns team when they won the tournament in 2016.  Ramahlwe Mphahlele was part of the squad until he left them to join Kaizer Chiefs.  

“I have played the CAF Champions League before with some of these guys and to be honest, it is nothing new.  Our attitude towards every game is so vital, we must understand just how essential it is to win every game, especially away games”.  

He is looking to replicate the winning form and believes it is of critical importance to approach the competition with a steadfast game-by-game focus and not look too far ahead.  

The Zimbabwean international who, a fortnight ago, helped his national team battle from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with current African Champions Algeria in a 2021 CAF AFCON Qualifying game, feels sure that Chiefs will launch a successful campaign in the competition which will result in an extended run in the Champions League. He went on to add “we need to go out there and challenge in Africa and take this team back to where it belongs.  It starts now and we need to rise to the task at hand and test our character against big teams out there”. 

Billiat feels that Chiefs players will manage to adapt to the rigours of competing in the CAF Champions League and that they have the tenacity and talent to put up a real battle, “if you are able to play for Chiefs you are able to play anywhere. To play for Chiefs means that you are a good player and football is the same, the more confidence the team gets the better we bond as one unit”. 

Billiat, using his past experiences has been offering his teammates encouragement, “I have been telling the guys nothing is different game wise, but the score-line out in Africa is important, a draw away from home means a lot. They need to understand that we don’t win the competition in the first game, it’s a work in progress and that sometimes negative results in this competition can help give you the energy you need going forward”.

He also knows the challenges that come with playing in the CAF Champions league, such as travelling and adapting to different playing conditions and cultures of other countries and cities, “it’s going to be tough.  Other teams will do everything to throw you off, some teams have a lot of experience in travelling and knowing the other cultures, they know how to intimidate their opponent teams and we just need to be focused”. 

The Chiefs midfield wizard closed off by amplifying the point that Chiefs do have experience in the ranks needed to put up a strong challenge when they face the continent’s best teams, as he added. “Having the experience will definitely help the team as it will motivate the guys.  We have extremely talented players who can adjust quickly.  We want to challenge ourselves and see how well we can do. This means so much to us as a squad as we know that it will give us positive energy for domestic competitions as well”. 

Chiefs will kick-off their 2020-21 CAF on Sunday, 29 November 2020 in Limbe against PWD Bamenda at 16:00 South African time, the return leg will take place at the FNB Stadium on the weekend of the 4th to the 6th of December 2020 – date and time to be confirmed.