Katsande Seeks Chiefs Legacy

Photo: The Herald

Willard Katsande.

Zimbabwe skipper Willard Katsande believes the long-term deal he recently signed with Kaizer Chiefs will give him an opportunity to play with more focus and determination as he looks to complete his professional career with the Soweto giants. Katsande’s contract with Amakhosi was due to end on June 30 this year. But the combative midfielder, who turned 31 in January, extended his stay with Chiefs by another three years and will be at Naturena at least until June 2020.

The conclusion of the negotiations ended protracted talks in which the player had been looking to better his initial deal with the Soweto giants.

Katsande, who has a South African residence permit and is not affected by the foreign quota system, believes he can now focus more on his game.

He wants to emulate Tinashe Nengomasha who attained legendary status after a lengthy spell at Chiefs.

Katsande also revealed he is trying to help former Chicken Inn striker Michelle Katsvairo to find his feet at Chiefs and paid tribute to the Amakhosi management and supporters for helping him “feel at home.”

“We spoke and we agreed on better offers and finally the matter was put to rest. It’s great to feel needed and I am comfortable at the club now,” Katsande said.

Katsande, who was captain of the Warriors ship under Callisto Pasuwa and led the senior team to qualification for the African Cup of Nations in Gabon in January, said the three-year extension of his deal at Chiefs will also help him attain his cherished dream of “leaving a legacy at the club”.

The midfielder grafter arrived at Chiefs in 2011, a year after he burst into the South African Premiership following his switch from local side Gunners to Ajax Cape Town.

It is at Chiefs where he has seen his career flourish as he also worked his way into the Warriors squad and was eventually named captain of the ship when Pasuwa took over.

Katsande also reckons the special bond between the Chiefs fans and the players has been one of the driving forces that have seen Steve Komphela’s men remain strongly in the title race that is so far involving five teams including defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns who are in fifth place.

Chiefs are third with 39 points from 22 games, three behind leaders Cape Town City and Katsande and teammates are also still in the running for the Nedbank Cup title.

“Now that I have recommitted myself to the club the fans and the management can expect 100 percent from me and I will try to deliver every time I step onto the pitch.

“Like I said I am also trying to write my own legacy under this team”.

Katsande is also happy to see winger Edmore Chirambadare finally settling in and playing an important role in the Chiefs line of attack.

“It’s good that he has settled now and I am proud that I have been helping him,” Katsande said.

He also spoke about Katsvairo who has, however, found the going tough and struggled to hold down a place in the team.

“We are trying to bring him up. He was given fair chances, but unfortunately he didn’t score. I don’t know what the thought about him are like,” Katsande said.

In the aftermath of the Warriors’ poor Nations Cup campaign in Gabon, Katsande announced his retirement from the international game before having a change of heart and decided to stay on.

The midfielder will, however, know of his Warriors fate from the new coach who will succeed Pasuwa in the senior team’s dressing room.

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