The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
KAIZER Chiefs supporters wanted to watch Willard Katsande in action in this year Carling Black Label Cup against Orlando Pirates on Sunday but the Zimbabwean midfielder will not be part of the preseason Soweto showdown since he is no longer with Amakhosi.
As of Monday, a day before voting closed, Katsande has received 53 428 votes to start for Chiefs against Pirates at the Orlando Stadium.
Sadly, Katsande is one of the seven players whose time at Naturena has come to an end. The 35-year old defensive midfielder was not offered a new contract, which means he has left the Glamour Boys after 10 years of service. Katsande exits Chiefs as the most capped foreign player having appeared 326 times in Amakhosi colours. He beat the record set by another Zimbabwean, Tinashe Nengomasha who played 325 matches for Chiefs.
“In order to make way for the new players and ensure that the coach and his technical team prepare adequately, Amakhosi will sadly be parting ways with some players who will not form part of the coach’s plans in the next season. Leading the list of those who will exit Naturena is club legend Willard Katsande. The Zimbabwean joined Amakhosi in 2011 from Ajax Cape Town. After ten years with Chiefs, the midfielder holds the record of being the most capped foreigner after playing 326 official matches,’’ announced Chiefs on Tuesday.
Alpheus “Vina” Maphosa, the Chiefs corporate communications manager said Katsande will be withdrawn from the Amakhosi starting lineup for the Carling Black Label Cup.
“He will be withdrawn from the list,’’ responded Maphosa when asked about Katsande’s status in the Carling Black Label Cup.
Zimbabwe will however be represented in Sunday’s match with Khama Billiat, who extended his stay at Chiefs by a further two years to start for Amakhosi. Billiat had by Monday received 114 701 votes to lead the Chiefs attack with Serbian Samir Nurkovic. The Serbian is the second most popular player in the Carling Black Label Cup as his votes tally on Monday stood at 177 601 while goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has proven to be the most voted for player with 178 152 voting for him to start in goals for Amakhosi.