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Khumalo – Why Chiefs Don’t Copy Sundowns & Pirates To Play Vilakazi In DDC

Kaizer Chiefs DStv Diski Challenge coach Vela Khumalo says there was no need to copy Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates, who took some of their promoted youngsters to play in the junior league during the Africa Cup of Nations break, by playing Mfundo Vilakazi. 

Pirates, since the Diski Challenge resumed three weeks ago in Durban, have brought back Relebohile Mofokeng and Azola Matrose, with coach Joseph Makhanya saying they are preparing them to be ready by the time the DStv Premiership resumes in the coming weeks.  

Sundowns’ Diski coach Sinethemba Badela has also taken advantage of Siyabonga Mabena to blood him in the Diski Challenge, despite having made his first-team debut last season.                  

Khumalo said the reason they won’t do that with Vilakazi is because he must be integrated with the senior team first since he was promoted late last year. 

“They [the senior team] are also having some games, so we don’t want to disturb or disrupt them because remember he [Vilakazi] must also get used to the first team,” Khumalo said when asked by iDiski Times why Chiefs don’t copy Sundowns and Pirates to play Vilakazi in their DDC to build him up for the senior team before league resume. 

“You find that they are playing today, they are also having friendlies somewhere and the coach [Cavin Johnson] wants to integrate, wants to bring him into this first team, wants to give him minutes so that he understands.

“But if I take him and come to this side, it becomes a challenge to say what stage is he going to adapt to and understand the demands of the first team. 

“So, we are looking at that and maybe you will see a different first team.”  

Chiefs won their third game on trot, as they beat AmaZulu in a come-from-behind victory 2-1 in the DStv Diski Challenge festival at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Sunday.  

They moved to fourth on the table, with 30 points after 16 matches. They are five points behind leaders Pirates, who thumped defending champions SuperSport United 3-0 on Saturday.     

Players like Samkelo Zwane, having been promoted, have struggled to command game-time in the senior team, same with Wandile Dube, Mdu Shabalala, Aden McCarthy, and Sabelo Radebe.  

Khumalo said the changes in coaching at the Chiefs have affected the players’ development in the first team, because it’s a hard balancing act between focussing on youth looking at getting the results.    

“We don’t necessarily have a problem; you remember we have been changing coaches and each coach comes with things that he thinks will work for the team,” said Khumalo. 

“When that happens, they are not thinking of playing the young ones, they are thinking about the results. So, it takes a confident coach who believes in youth to play them.

“But like I’m saying, you are going to see Duba plays, I am happy with their progress, I have seen them at training and playing. But you will see these boys playing going forward.”

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' former KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN. Robin-Duke has left iDiski Times.