Kaizer Chiefs’ future: Lucas Radebe backs development, Tso Vilakazi wants experience

BENEDICT Vilakazi feels Kaizer Chiefs should try to sign Bongani Zungu (left), who recently left Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: BackpagePix

BENEDICT Vilakazi feels Kaizer Chiefs should try to sign Bongani Zungu (left), who recently left Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 20, 2024


HAVING finished 10th in the DStv Premiership last season – their second-worst position in the past four seasons – Kaizer Chiefs are in search for redemption leading into the looming 2024/25 campaign.

As a result, mighty Amakhosi have reportedly signed Tunisian coaching stalwart Nasreddine Nabi, who is set to bring a wealth of experience, having coached in Morocco, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Libya.

Despite this being an important step in the right direction to restoring the respect and dignity at Naturena, many believe that Chiefs are one step away from setting themselves up for success in the near future, maximising on the transfer window that is set to open on July 1.

Amakhosi legend Lucas Radebe believes Chiefs need not look elsewhere but in their development structures, which is known for producing quality players.

Though not opposed to the idea, Radebe believes it would take more work to recruit players from elsewhere and have to teach them what it means to be a Chiefs player.

At least it would be more work than it would to promote a youngster who is already playing for the club in leagues below.

“It’s difficult to match players with different clubs. You don’t have the Yeye Letsholonyanes, the Shabbas (Siphiwe Tshabalala) anymore,” Radebe said at the Betway 12th Man second edition launch this week in Johannesburg, which is a programme geared towards the upskilling of retired athletes for life after professional sport.

“I think we rely on the youngsters that are coming through to take the boots and look up to Siphiwe, Yeye and all the players that took Kaizer Chiefs to new heights, to be aware of the brand they are representing.”

Another legend of South African football in Benedict ‘Tso’ Vilakazi also weighed in on the state of proceedings at Naturena.

The 41-year-old leans towards Chiefs recruiting experienced players in order to guide the younger players who are at the club or those who would then be promoted from their development structures.

“(Bongani) Zungu just left Sundowns, why not? (Kermit) Erasmus just left Pirates, why not (bring them in)?” Vilakazi asked.

“You need experienced guys. Chiefs right now needs leaders outside the field (in the form of coach Nabi), (but also) leaders inside the field.

“They do have some good players that I think can learn more, improve and be good players. But without experienced players surrounding them, it’s going to be very difficult. Andile Jali is here as well.

“We all learn through our bigger brothers. Even I never went into the professional set-up and did things all by myself. I got guidance from the bigger brothers – the likes of Ernest Mtawali and Jerry Sikhosana. These are some of the guys that guided us.

“Sometimes younger players tend to be lazy, which is normal. But when there’s these older players, you know you will get shouted at. They give youngsters courage and motivation to work hard.”