“Outside soccer, I love watching Aussie rules,” says Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Kearyn ‘Kizza’ Baccus about his hobbies.
Australian rules football comes across as a mixture of rugby and soccer. It’s a typical Australian sport in which two teams of eighteen players face each other on an oval field, often a modified cricket ground.
The players can use any part of their body to move the ball, although it usually involves kicking, handballing and lots of running with the ball.
“I have enormous respect for their players,” explains the Durban-born midfielder, who grew up in Australia. “They can run all day. They are super fit and the game is tremendously fast. It’s incredibly exciting to watch.”
Sydney Swans are the favourite team of Baccus. “When I visit Sydney, I will even occasionally go to the stadium to watch them play. Here in South Africa, however, I try to follow their matches on my iPad.”
The Chiefs squad will soon go into the Biological Safe Environment (BSE) to be ready for the resumption of the league.
Like all football players, his hobby has become his work. It means that Baccus also enjoys watching the game. “I don’t watch too many games,” he confesses, “however, if we play, for example, Polokwane City, I will always check out a recent fixture from them. I will watch how they play and, of course, I will especially check how their midfielders operate, how they pass, combine with each other and so on. Nothing major, but it’s important to do.”
Baccus normally shares a room with Leonardo Castro when the team is in camp. “We talk about a variety of aspects, our families, soccer, South Africa, Australia and Colombia, where ‘Leo’ comes from.”
The midfielder, who joined Amakhosi at the beginning of the season from Melbourne FC, also likes to rest properly after a training session. “It’s crucial to fully recover.”
When he stays in a hotel room, the 28-year-old likes watching a movie to relax. “I will check out what is on Netflix, otherwise I just download a movie. Depending on my mood at that specific moment, I will make a choice – usually it will be an action movie or a comedy.
“My favourite actor is Denzel Washington, having in particular enjoyed his movies Training Day and Equalizer. When it comes to comedy, I will watch anything that features Adam Sandler.”
Baccus is happy that the league will resume on 11 August. Amakhosi’s home games for the remaining Absa Premiership fixtures will be played at Orlando Stadium.
“We will obviously miss our fans,” he admits, “but it’s a nice stadium and the pitch is very good. I am happy with the outcome of the draw to play at Orlando Stadium. Now it’s important that we all focus, be mentally strong and play as a team in those eight remaining fixtures.”