I Never Want to Lose the Derby – Parker
I Never Want to Lose the Derby – Parker

Posted in News, Team News on Mar 02, 2022.

Kaizer Chiefs captain Bernard Parker is fit and raring to go as Amakhosi prepare to face Orlando Pirates for the 175th time in an official game this Saturday at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. The game will be the 102nd league meeting between the two Soweto giants.

Parker missed Chiefs’ 1-0 win over Baroka in the DStv Premiership this past weekend due to injury, but is now available for selection for coach Stuart Baxter and his technical team.

And Parker cannot contain his excitement at the possibility of facing the team’s arch-rivals again in what would be his 30th Soweto Derby.

“Yes I am happy to be back and always ready to play in these types of games. We live for these games – you want to be involved in this game because it is one of the biggest Derbies on the continent. It is always an honour to play in this match,” confirmed Parker that these are the games that bring the best out of him.

Parker is gearing up for what could be his 21st league game against Pirates, as he chases Siphiwe Tshabalala’s PSL era appearance record in Derbies against Pirates.

“I am very proud to reach such a milestone. It is always with joy and a host of other good emotions that I look ahead to this game. The build- up, the hype, the talk, the history… it’s an exciting feeling,” says Parker.

With his former teammate Tshabalala having played in 31 derbies overall and 22 in the league, Parker will be just one behind Shabba should he feature this weekend.

“One of the best derbies I featured in was captaining the team in the 100th league derby last season, which we won. While I would describe these games as always being a nerve-wracking encounter, I never want to lose against Pirates,” says Parker.

With his experience of the Derby going back 11 years, Parker is well accustomed to how to manage playing against Pirates.

“With Pirates style of play and movement, they can always be a hiccup. They have good flair. How to contain that is a challenge. With my experience I know how to contain and manage that,” adds Parker.

As Chiefs make their way up the league table and chase qualification for next season’s CAF African Champions League, Parker knows just how far three points would go into making that a reality.

“it’s very, very crucial for us to win. I had a conversation with Daniel Cardoso, we believe winning will set the tone and be a massive confidence booster for us to gain momentum. Winning will lift everything in us for us to get into the CAF Champions League,” he emphasised.

The short enforced break from the game has energised him.

“I feel good and refreshed and can’t wait to be on the field again, given the chance,” says Parker.

Chiefs have won four of their last five league games against Pirates. The game in that run that Amakhosi did not win was the one game in which Parker did not feature – a 2-1 away loss on 30 January 2021.

The veteran Chiefs forward has proven to be a lucky charm against Pirates in the past, with Chiefs winning eight, drawing eight and losing four of the previous 20 league games in which he has played for Chiefs against Pirates.

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