The return of Stuart Baxter to Kaizer Chiefs could spin the pendulum in favour of veteran midfielder Willard Katsande getting another contract extension at the club.
Katsande’s current contract at Chiefs runs up at the end of this month but so much will depend on Baxter, and what happens of the club’s CAF Champions League campaign.
Chiefs play the second leg of the semi-final on Saturday against Wydad Casablanca and, if they emerge aggregate winners, will be heading to Casablanca for the once-off final against either Al Ahly or Esperance next month.
The date – July 17 – falls outside the expiry of Katsande’s deal with the club, presenting a possible tricky situation for both the player and the club.
A model professional, who takes pride in playing with commitment on every occasion, the 35-year-old has suddenly found himself back in the mix since Gavin Hunt’s sacking at the end of last month.
Having mostly played from the bench under Hunt, he started the last two league games against Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy.
Last Saturday, the midfield workhorse put in a solid shift away at Wydad as Chiefs played with tactical discipline to grind out a historic 1-0 victory at the Stade Mohammed V.
That game in Morocco meant this was only the second time that the former Ajax Cape Town anchorman has played two consecutive games from start to finish this season, having last enjoyed the same priviledge in November last year.
With Baxter back at the helm in Naturena, the Briton will still have fond memories of how effective Katsande was in executing his game-plan that led to four trophies being delivered in three years between 2012 and 2015.
Katsande was amongst the top three players that Baxter used the most through that three-year long first spell in charge of Chiefs.
Despite being evidently not a favourite with Hunt for most of this season, he has put together 26 appearances – a drop from his average of 35 per season through his 10 years at the Soweto giants.
Meanwhile, the supporters' votes count for next season's Carling Black Label Cup pre-season Soweto Derby have also kept him in the starting XI so far.