It was a good weekend for Amakhosi on the whole with six of the Club’s seven teams in action this past weekend tasting victory, including the Chiefs reserve team under the guidance of coach Vela Khumalo as they ended a three-game winless run.
The reserve side had a well-earned 1-0 win over TS Galaxy at home on Saturday. This win sees them climb to sixth on the standings after having played seven games in the DStv Diski Challenge this season.
Coach Vela Khumalo’s team scored the game’s only goal in the 13th minute through Kgaogelo Ramushu to seal the three points at FNB Stadium in warm conditions on Saturday. The win comes despite the coach not being able to have most of his players available during the week as they are busy with their school examinations.
Reflecting on the performance, the coach was complimentary of his players. “Overall good performance from the boys,” said coach Vela who feels that his players were able to deal effectively with the hurdles they faced ahead of the game. “We faced numerous challenges before the game, but I am pleased with the performance and the way the boys responded to the challenges.”
The Chiefs reserve team coach also felt that the narrow win did not reflect the dominant nature of his team’s performance. “It’s the story of our lives,” he added. “We missed many clear-cut chances we created. We just could not convert them. 1-0 is not a true reflection of the game and the way we played.”
With the school examinations ending soon, Vela is confident that things will be much different for his team in the new year.
“We will be a better team once the examinations are over,” says coach Vela. “For now, we are preparing for our next game against Sundowns with the players we have.
“We are very much a work in progress. We have a recess in December, but we have four games left before that and we will do our best to ensure we come back stronger in January.”
He has also heaped special praise on a number of his players who had to help out the Chiefs U-19 team, who were featuring in a Gauteng Development League Game semi-final against Sundowns.
“Straight after our game, some of our players featured in the GDL semi-finals against Sundowns because the U-19 team also had players missing,” explained Khumalo. “They won that game 5-1. I am proud of them for winning both games. Well done to them and the other junior Chiefs teams – U-13 and U-17 for reaching the GDL finals. All the Chiefs junior teams have had such a good season.”
The coach had further reason to smile on Monday after a productive weekend as one of his most talented players was called up to train with the Chiefs first team. Despite the windy and wet conditions in Naturena, he managed to put in a good session.
“Mduduzi Shabalala is training with the first team,” he confirms. “He had his first training session on Monday morning, just training. It’s good for his progress. It’s what we wanted to achieve in closing the gap between the first and the development structures – having the boys train and work with the first team from time to time.”
Vela’s team will face log leaders Sundowns on Sunday at home before finishing the year with games against Baroka on the road, then at home against Cape Town City and SuperSport United. The latter three DDC games will all be played in the month of November.