Parker on cusp of Soweto Derby milestone

Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs stalwart Bernard Parker is on the cusp of achieving a remarkable milestone against Soweto Derby rivals Orlando Pirates.

Arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are set to meet for the 175th time on Saturday when the two giants of South African football go head to head in the latest instalment of the highly-anticipated Soweto Derby.

Veteran Amakhosi forward Bernard Parker has featured in 29 of those encounters and could make his 30th appearance for Chiefs against the Buccaneers this weekend after recovering from an injury that ruled him out of the win over Baroka last time out.

Ahead of the encounter, the 35-year-old highlighted his pride at reaching the 30-game mark against the old enemy and revealed that the Derby was the type of match that he lived to play in as a professional footballer.

"I am very proud to reach such a milestone," Parker told the club's official website on Wednesday. "It is always with joy and a host of other good emotions that I look ahead to this game. The build-up, the hype, the talk, the history… it’s an exciting feeling.

"I am happy to be back and always ready to play in these types of games. We live for these games – you want to be involved in this game because it is one of the biggest Derbies on the continent. It is always an honour to play in this match."

The former Bafana Bafana star also admitted that he hated losing against Pirates and that one of his favourite outings in the Derby came last season when he had the honour of captaining Chiefs in the 100th league edition of the world-famous fixture.

"One of the best derbies I featured in was captaining the team in the 100th league derby last season, which we won," he added. "While I would describe these games as always being a nerve-wracking encounter, I never want to lose against Pirates."

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