Chiefs gun for silverware

2013-07-31 15:28

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Winning trophies is top of mind as defending league champions Kaizer Chiefs kick off their new campaign.

Chiefs face newly promoted Mpumalanga Black Aces on Friday at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, in a game about which Amakhosi coach Stuart Baxter said maximum points would be a positive start.

The game starts at 8pm.

“Not winning (silverware) last season would have been deemed a failure and now the pressure this season will still be to win trophies,” said Baxter during a press conference at the PSL offices in Parktown, Joburg, today.

He said only Siyabonga Nkosi was not fully fit as the midfielder had just recovered from an ankle injury.

Aces coach Clive Barker broke the ice ahead of the fixture when he said: “My job will be to make sure that Aces win the league by 10 points.”

Barker, who at 69 is the oldest mentor in the Premiership, said he was also up to the challenge.

He said he had a full house of players from which to pick his starting eleven.

In his last confrontation with Chiefs, Barker held Amakhosi to a draw when he was still in charge of Bidvest Wits last season.

Meanwhile, Barker’s nephew, Steve, will start University of Pretoria’s second season in top-flight football with a tricky clash against Moroka Swallows.

The game takes place at Dobsonville Stadium and will kick off at 3pm.

Steve said: “The second season can be challenging. But we would like to challenge for a cup this season.”

He said the club was hoping new striker Tefera Fikru will give the team the same weight upfront as the departed Mame Niang, who finished as the club’s top scorer with eight goals last season.

Swallows coach Zeca Marques said his side’s failure to qualify for the top eight competition they were defending was an indication of what went wrong last season.

There are more positives than negatives.

Swallows lost influential players David Mathebula and Bennett Chenene to SuperSport United but Marques said he was positive about the future.

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