With Bafana Bafana’s gallant run in the 2023 Afcon in Ivory Coast brought to a heartbreaking end in a penalty shootout loss to Nigeria at the semifinal stage, attention returns to domestic matters and the resumption of the 2023/24 DStv Premiership next week.
Amakhosi will be looking to kickstart the second half of the season with a dominant showing when they face TS Galaxy on Tuesday evening, 13 February, in Polokwane.
One player chomping at the bit to get back into action is Samkelo Zwane, a man who has used the Afcon-induced break in PSL action to prepare thoroughly for Kaizer Chiefs’ quest for success over the remainder of the campaign.
“I’m well. I have been keeping fit, training with the guys. I have been working very hard in training, just waiting for my opportunity, which I’ll grab with both hands,” he tells www.kaizerchiefs.com.
Zwane, who turned 22 last month, has seen limited game time so far this season but, although he is confident in his development and appreciative of the assistance and advice he receives at the Club.
“I feel I could have done better in the games I have played,” he humbly admits, before adding, “but I have great support from the coaches and my teammates that encourage me to keep growing and improving.”
Like most South Africans, the gifted young midfielder was proud of Bafana Bafana’s performance in the Afcon tournament, as they surprised many by reaching the last four and coming within a whisker of reaching the final.
“Bafana Bafana gave a good account of themselves,” says Zwane,. “They fought very hard. It was just unfortunate that they went out on penalties in the semifinal. You could see the effort and the will to win was there, doing it for the country. I take inspiration from their determination and commitment to the cause”
Turning to the upcoming task of facing at team that has proven to be somewhat of a nemesis to Amakhosi in recent years, Zwane is well aware that Chiefs will need to be at their best to secure the three points against The Rockets.
“As you know, everyone wants to beat Chiefs,” he smiles wryly, “so all our games are like cup finals. Against TS Galaxy will be no different. They are going to bring their A-game, so we must bring our A++-game and show the who we are and what we are made of. They like to build up play with combinations through midfield, and are quite dangerous from out wide with crosses into the box.”
However, he assures the Club’s passionate fanbase that the squad is well conditioned and highly motivated to go out and get the job done.
“Personally, I am ready, and, as a collective, we have all been working very hard at practice to ensure we hit the ground running,” Zwane concludes.
The DStv Premiership encounter between Kaizer Chiefs and TS Galaxy at the new Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane kicks off at 19:30 on Tuesday, 13 February 2024.