Kaizer Chiefs youngsters Shabalala, Duba & Co challenged to up their game
- Zwane urged the club’s young players to earn their place
- Chiefs coach said youngsters will be selected on merit
- The Glamour Boys have had an indifferent 2022-23 season
WHAT HAPPENED? Zwane expressed his desire to continue giving opportunities to players from the Chiefs academy but warned both those already in the first team and others with ambitions of getting promoted that they will have to earn their places.
Mduduzi Shabalala, Samkelo Zwane and Wandile Duba are the academy products that have featured for the senior team more regulatory this season with some observers calling for more.
While Zwane is receptive to the idea of having a bigger pool of homegrown players, he has offered no guarantees and believes the team will need to have the right blend between youth and experience while the youngsters selected must be there on merit.
WHAT DID HE SAY? “The players who are coming from the development, those who have been doing well in the first team who’ve been part of the first team, the opportunity is there for them. It’s all up to them,” said Zwane as quoted by FARPost.
“They will be given the opportunity if they grab it with both hands. It’s good for the club. We’re more than willing to do that. It’s part of our job. And yeah, what is key is to get the rhythm and find the right balance.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Of the three Chiefs youngsters, Shabalala has played the most games, featuring in 13 matches across all competitions, scoring two goals while providing an assist. Zwane and Duba have just seven and five appearances respectively, most of them as substitutes.
The Glamour Boys have pinned their hopes on a young team which Zwane feels will flourish in the near future even though fans, tired of the club’s trophy drought that stretches to 2015, have been demanding for signings with experience who will hit the ground running.
WHAT’S MORE? With Chiefs 22 points behind PSL leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and left with the Nedbank Cup and a second-place finish to chase, Zwane is not surprised by this season’s struggles.
“This is one season – my first season – and other players, it’s their first season. It was never going to be easy,” he added.
WHAT’S NEXT? Chiefs host Stellenbosch FC on Saturday, looking to make it four straight league wins.