COMMENT: Why some of the Chiefs players don’t even deserve an invite to the club's awards ceremony
“I’m even embarrassed to say that I did well‚” an honest Siphiwe Tshabalala said after winning his second Absa Premiership Goal of the Month award this week.
Imagine then how the Kaizer Chiefs captain will feel should he win the club’s Player of the Year award in what has been a forgetful season for Amakhosi.
There’s a strong possibility that could happen in the club’s awards ceremony on Thursday.
The Chiefs’ captain has been one of a handful of standout players for the club‚ along with Ramahlwe Mphahlele‚ Lorenzo Gordinho‚ Itumeleng Khune and Willard Katsande.
The rest don’t even deserve an invitation to the ceremony.
There is little that happened on the field for Amakhosi that warrants rewards after a second successive barren season.
But the brand consciousness that has made the side the most recognisable and biggest brand in the country is the drive for the club to do this – to keep their name in the news.
Amakhosi should use this time to do some self-introspection which would help them turn things around.
Chiefs’ legend Tinashe Nengomasha argued that a lot of the current crop don’t know the club’s values and he even went as far as to say that most of the foreign contingent are too comfortable – not doing enough to prove why they were brought from their countries to a team with a trophy haul that’s unmatched in the country.
That’s an indictment on the club’s recruitment policy.
Kaizer Motaung‚ the chiefs’ chairman‚ admitted that they have made some bad decisions in their recruitment which has led to most of their signings spending more time on the bench than on the field.
Amakhosi have failed to work the market like SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits who thrived on luring quality players for free.
Chiefs’ best recruit this season‚ Mphahlele‚ was driven to Amakhosi by unhappiness at Mamelodi Sundowns where he felt he should have been paid more than he was getting.
That move had little to do with Amakhosi being a desirable option.
That was an afterthought‚ that at least they would pay him better than the Brazilians and would be in a team with a bigger support base.
Chiefs have lost the appeal that saw Mulomowandau Mathoho tell his agent who had agreed terms with Sundowns to fly a kite because he was set on joining Amakhosi.
Now that name isn’t worth the weight it carries.
Thapelo Morena did the opposite of what Mathoho did‚ forcing his way to the African champions instead of going to Naturena where everything looked done and dusted for his move.
Morena was attracted by the drive to play on the continent and on the world stage‚ which he did at the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan last year.
The whole idea of hosting an awards ceremony after a terrible season might be bizarre and comical but it should be the catalyst for the club to turn things around.
Bidvest Wits’ awards ceremony after they finished second‚ 14 points behind Sundowns‚ was a bitter sweet occasion.
It was to celebrate a good showing by a team that used to be happy with finishing in the middle of the table and was relegated in 2005.
But that second place wasn’t good enough based on the financial investment the club made in the players on their roaster.
Management didn’t shy away from telling them that second place wasn’t good enough.
The response was swift.
Wits won the first trophy on offer and broke an almost decade-long barren run by winning the league for the first time in their 96 year history.
Chiefs should use these awards ceremony for something similar.
Reward the few standout players and have stern words with the entire team that has dragged the club’s name through the mud.
But those words need to be backed with action to pick up the team and ensure that they compete.
Teams like Cape Town City have shown that they mean business by tying up their players early and bolstering their squad with Ayanda Patosi before this season has even been officially wrapped.
- TMG Digital/TMG Sport