The 2023/24 DStv Diski Challenge resumes this weekend, with Kaizer Chiefs hosting Chippa United, and the team’s coach, Vela Khumalo, believes his squad is well primed to mount a title challenge in the second half of the season.
“The boys are all excited and looking forward to getting back up and running. Everyone is here; even the boys that were missing late last year are back and we can’t wait for our first game,” he tells www.kaizerchiefs.com at the team training session ahead of the match. “We have had a long camp programme where we assess how the boys will fare for the rest of the season, so we are well prepared to give it our best shot.”
Towards the tail end of the first half of the campaign at the close of 2023, some internal issues arose around the conduct of certain players. However, Coach Khumalo swiftly dispelled any suggestion that it would have a lingering effect on his plans in the future.
“We implemented some disciplinary measures regarding the situation but now we are over that. It is part of the boys’ learning curve,” he states emphatically, adding, “Everything is okay now, we are all together, focused on the football and having a good second half of the season.
Amakhosi Reserves currently lie 5th in the standings, with 20 points from their 12 games – seven points adrift of leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, and a win over the young Chilli Boys will set them up nicely to progress up the table.
One particular drawcard in the Amakhosi ranks will be the likely appearance of Mfundo Vilakazi, the 18-year-old starlet who made an impressive bow at senior level for the Carling All-Stars, and even scoring a goal against Stellenbosch FC in front of thousands of fans, after being voted into the team by public demand. Obrigado, as he is affectionately known, will be hoping to use the invaluable experience he gained from the nationally broadcast event to help Chiefs Reserves in their push for glory in 2024.
The match takes place on Saturday, 13 January, at the Tsakane stadium in Ekurhuleni on the East Rand, kicking off at 13:00.