Rama welcomes Downs reunion at Naturena
Posted: 31 July 2018 Time: 09:00
Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele has welcomed the mini reunion of his former Mamelodi Sundowns teammates at Naturena, but denies being responsible for their departing Chloorkop.
The arrival of Khama Billiat sees Chiefs now becoming home to three former Sundowns players, with Mphahlele having joined in 2016 before Leonardo Castro also made the switch in December last year.
In fact, defender Letlhogonolo Mirwa, who arrived from ABC Motsepe League side Buya Msuthu, also comes from Downs, albeit that he only spent a few months at the club‘s reserve team in 2016.
Nonetheless, ‘Rama’ has welcomed his former colleagues into the dressing room at the Soweto giants, and believes Billiat will be a huge asset for the team as they look towards a resurgence under new coach Giovanni Solinas this season.
”I’m happy to have Khama [on the same team], he’s a very good player and I just hope that he comes in and he helps us,” Mphahlele said, before calling on The Amakhosi faithful to lower their expectations of the Zimbabwean international.
”To our fans, we mustn’t put pressure on him to say, ‘We have Khama now, everything’s going to be okay’ - no. We need to work together as a team to win. Any coach and any team would love to have him, so we’re very happy to have Khama.”
The 28-year-old right-back also believes Billiat's and Castro’s experience of winning silverware under Pitso Mosimane in recent seasons could bode well for the team’s burning desire to end their three-year trophy drought.
“Castro came in, in January, and he’s done well, so Khama now too. Of course we need experience, but most importantly we need players with a good mentality that come to the team and want to win and help,” he added.
“Yes, three years is not nice for Chiefs, but we will keep fighting. Unfortunately, if we as players give up then who’s going to bring a trophy? We have to bring the trophies, and the players have to work hard to bring the trophies. No one else can do it besides us, so we can’t give up.”
Meanwhile, the ex-Brazilians skipper has defended against criticism from Masandawana supporters that he has been the main force behind players trading Sundowns for Chiefs.
“By the way, Sundowns fans think I’m the one fetching them from Chloorkop. Guys, it’s not me, it’s football. Players move when they feel like they want to move,” said Mphahlele.
”It’s good for football. They [Sundowns] have had players from Kaizer Chiefs, and Chiefs have had players from Sundowns, so [it‘s not a new phenomenon].”