Baccus told: 'Leave Doc's No.15 alone'

A Kaizer Chiefs legend has warned new star Kearyn Baccus to stay away from the retired jersey number 15 that Doctor Khumalo used to wear.

Mark Tovey, older brother of SAFA technical director Neil, played together with Khumalo at Chiefs in the late eighties.

According to him, the Durban-born Australian still needs to help the club win trophies before he can think about taking the number 15 jersey out of retirement.

The 52-year-old Khumalo popularly known as '16V' during his playing days, is not only a legend at club level, he is also a 50-cap South African national team icon who played just one game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

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It was his assist to Phil Masinga that helped Bafana Bafana beat Congo to qualify for the tournament in the first place.

The 28-year-old Baccus is currently wearing jersey number six and has been a marvel to watch in the Amakhosi midfield, distributing quality passes in a similar mould to Khumalo.

"He is eyeing number 15?" Tovey reacted when KickOff.com asked for his opinion on the matter.

"Er... ja, that... I would say he needs to leave it alone. That must be hung up in a proper manner. He must look for number 35, not number 15, because he is low down in the pecking order. He has to prove himself first.

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"Well I mean Doctor was there for how many years? Maybe 10, 12 years and achieved many, many trophies you know. Er... that good gentleman that's coming from Australia, how many trophies has he won? So there's your answer.

"You know he needs to perform to a consistent level with the team to make sure they win some trophies, and perform to the level that's satisfactory to the coach and the supporters."

Tovey says by that he doesn't mean that Khumalo, who scored the very first goal for Bafana, is not replaceable.

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"Everybody is, everybody is replaceable. But you know some take a bit longer than other to be replaced... but the only way to deserve the jersey is by winning some trophies with your teammates. Two, three months into the season then... ah you've got a long way to go you know.

"Doc, he had charisma about him, he had a lot of skill you know. Don't get me wrong, I won't say the same calibre as Teenage [Dladla] or Ace Ntsoelengoe, don't get me wrong, but he had a lot of skill."

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