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‘We will compete for everything,’ says Chiefs star Billiat on new season

04 August 2022 - 17:31 By SITHEMBISO DINDI
Kaizer Chiefs player Khama Billiat during the Amakhosi Family Day event hosted at FNB Stadium on July 30.
Kaizer Chiefs player Khama Billiat during the Amakhosi Family Day event hosted at FNB Stadium on July 30.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

After their major clear-out in the name of rebuilding, Kaizer Chiefs stalwart Khama Billiat believes Amakhosi have assembled a team strong enough to go out and compete for everything in the new Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.

The 2022-23 PSL campaign gets under way with the DStv Premiership in Cape Town, where last season’s runners-up Cape Town City host reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Cape Town Stadium on Friday (7.30pm).

New-look Chiefs, who released at least 10 senior players on the back of another mediocre campaign in 2021-22, kick off their season on Saturday against Royal AM at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban (5.30pm), with a host of major changes on the field and in the dugout.

Club legend Arthur Zwane will begin his tenure as the head coach of the mighty Amakhosi, assisted by Dillon Sheppard.

Former Sundowns star Billiat has spoken highly of his new coach, claiming this is the best preseason he has experienced, which might signal big things to come from Chiefs.

The talks emanating from Chiefs has been that this new season will be about rebuilding, but Billiat, who is yet to win silverware since joining from the Brazilians in 2018, believes Amakhosi have a team that is good enough to challenge for trophies.

“Without putting anyone under pressure, we want to be competitive this season and we want to compete for everything that comes our way. We want to go all the way and we want to give everything we can,” Billiat said on Thursday.

“I think this is one of the seasons where we have got good players and we have got energy in the team — we can feel it.

“We also feel that the way we train is going to pay off. We are just praying to God that we have less injuries this season or no injuries at all.”

Chiefs have brought in signings such as Ashley du Preez, Siyethemba Sithebe, Zitha Kwinika, Dillon Solomons, Yusuf Maart, Kamohelo Mahlatsi, George Matlou in their pursuit to bring back the glory days to Naturena.

Billiat said, while it was sad to lose familiar faces at Naturena, it had to happen for the club to be able to surge to the top again.

“I think it’s difficult to spend time with someone and lose them, but it’s always like that in football,” Billiat said.

“Of course they had a lot of positive things that they were adding to the team, but the team needed to change.”

As one of the ageing players who avoided the axe at Chiefs, Billiat and senior players such as Keagan Dolly will be expected to take the lead role as new arrivals find their feet.

“I want to do better than I ever did,” Billiat said when asked about his personal ambition ahead of the new season.

PSL this weekend —

Friday:

Cape Town City  v Mamelodi Sundowns (Cape Town Stadium, 7.30pm)

Saturday:

Lamontville Golden Arrows v Richards Bay (Princess Magogo Stadium, 3pm)

Orlando Pirates v Swallows FC (Orlando Stadium, 3pm)

Marumo Gallants v Stellenbosch FC (Peter Mokaba Stadium, 3pm)

Royal AM v Kaizer Chiefs (Chatsworth Stadium, 5.30pm)

Maritzburg United v Sekhukhune United (Harry Gwala Stadium, 8pm)

Sunday:

TS Galaxy v AmaZulu (Bidvest Stadium, 3pm)

SuperSport United v Chippa United (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 5.30pm)       


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