“It all started during the Wednesday training session,” reveals Lazalous Kambole. “The team I was playing in during the practice match prepared techniques such as the set pieces and movements for the game. That’s when I thought I stood a chance of playing a role in the match against Highlands Park.”
Kambole made his official debut for Kaizer Chiefs against Highlands Park on Sunday, 4 August. The match took place at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.
“I am always preparing myself mentally and physically to play. The rest is up to the coach and his plans for the game. After the pre-match training on Saturday, my name was called up for the squad going to camp. My response was to say a prayer to thank God for the strength and wisdom.
After training the team headed for camp where he shared a room with George Maluleka. “George encouraged me, welcomed me and pledged his support. We also watched the Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic match on TV.
“On match day, I recall approaching the Makhulong stadium, I said to myself, finally it is happening, and God please help me through this and thereafter the pressure disappeared,” he adds.
The attacking midfielder says when he entered the dressing room and seeing his number 7 jersey, he thought, “it is happening, this is my first game, the supporters are here in big numbers,” as he was thinking about a win for the supporters.
He was not happy that the team did not win their pre-season matches but the game on Sunday was more important as they needed to win it for the supporters.
“I really thought we must give the supporters something to celebrate by winning. I thought in the first half we dominated the game, but we relaxed after scoring and allowed Highlands to pressurise us. We handled it well and recovered. The fighting spirit carried us through, and we kept on fighting. At the end it was fantastic to win the match for the entire Chiefs family,” says the Zambian attacker.
Kambole has been nominated for the Football Association of Zambia in the categories of Player of the Year and most Disciplined Player of the Year Awards. This is in recognition for his performances for his former Zambian Club, Zesco FC.
“I am humbled to be nominated again,” says Kambole, “I was nominated for the Player of the Year in 2018 but didn’t scoop the award but I am grateful for any form of recognition coming my way.”
Looking forward to Durban where Kaizer Chiefs will play against Black Leopards in their first home match of the season he concludes: “I think this time I know what to expect in the PSL so it will be easy for me to adjust and release my potential. Also, I have played COSAFA matches in Durban recently, It is a very nice place and the pitch is nice too. Most importantly for us is to win our first game at home.”
Amakhosi face Leopards at Moses Mabhida on Saturday, 10 August at 20:15. Tickets for the match can be purchased from Computicket outlets and Shoprite/Checkers supermarkets.