Ahead of one of the biggest games in the history of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club this weekend, some of the Amakhosi’s greatest legends have called on the team to step up and embrace the massive moment.
Chiefs face Tanzania’s Simba in the first leg of the CAF Champions League quarter final at the FNB Stadium tomorrow (Saturday), the first time the club has reached this advanced knockout stage of Africa’s premier club competition.
Brian Baloyi, a member of the Amakhosi team that won the 2001 African Cup Winners Cup, says that for the players representing the club this weekend it was “the biggest game and biggest opportunity of their lives in football”.
“The club has never been to the quarter finals of the CAF Champions League before. This is a chance to salvage what has been a disappointing season so far. What the peace loving fans of the club will be looking for is for the players to leave absolutely everything on that field and to play for their lives. I would love nothing more than to see the boys win,” says Baloyi.
After an illustrious career with the club ‘Spider’ remains one of its biggest fans and still proudly wears the club’s colours.
“I am a fan of this phenomenal club and I still wear my Kaizer Chiefs tracksuit with pride. We have been taking flak on the streets in recent years and we’ve been suffering. But this is an opportunity for the players to forget their problems. This is the chance for the senior players in the team to rally everyone around the cause and for the players to come out of their shell and to perform. As a footballer there are two things you want. You want to excel for your national team and you want to excel for your club and the CAF Champions League is the ultimate honour and achievement at continental club level,” says Baloyi.
Chiefs icon and legend, Vusi ‘Computer’ Lamola, said further progression in the CAF Champions League was an opportunity to regain the club’s confidence and lustre.
“Kaizer Chiefs has never been an ordinary team. Things are not smooth right now, but if the team can scrape through and advance to the next round of the CAF Champions League it can revive the players’ reputation and confidence and bolster the fans’ mindset. My humble advice to the players is not to live in the past, but to learn from it. The greatest moment is now. If they master the here and now, it is a gift, and will help brighten their futures,” says Lamola.
A classy leader of yesteryear for the Amakhosi, Mark Tovey, also offered his words of support and encouragement to the team.
“I wish the coach and the players the best of luck ahead of this weekend’s very important game. To get to this stage of the CAF Champions League is something special. We can only hope the guys who cross the white line and play for the team this weekend can raise their levels to the extreme, as that will be what is needed. You only get one shot in knockout competition. They need to go out there, give it their all and make it happen,” says Tovey.