13 February 2015

“We learnt a lot from last year’s experience in the African Champions League,” confirms Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande ahead of Saturday’s Champions League clash against Botswana’s Township Rollers.

Amakhosi host Rollers in the preliminary round of the Champions League at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium on Saturday evening, 14 February (kick-off at 19:30).

Township Rollers are at present in second position on the Botswana log. Rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs are heading the league.

Last season, Amakhosi failed to reach the group stage of the Champions League after being knocked out by AS Vita in the second round. The Congolese outfit eventually reached the final, only to lose against Algerian side ES Sétif.

In November 2013, Chiefs played in Botswana in a friendly against Rollers’ rivals Centre Chiefs, winning 3-0.

“We conceded three goals against AS Vita on the road,” reflects Katsande about last year’s elimination. “At home, we scored twice, but it wasn’t enough due to conceding too many on the road. One issue is not to concede a goal when playing away.”

The Zimbabwean midfielder is convinced that Amakhosi can reach at least the group stage of the Champions League this year: “Of course, we have to take it game by game. One must never plan too far ahead. However, there is a real desire in the squad of wanting to succeed in the Champions League this year. It will also help us that we have many internationals in the squad, who have a lot of experience playing on the African continent.”

The tickets for the Township Rollers match are on sale at Computicket and Shoprite/Checkers outlets nationwide. The cost of the ticket is R40 and R10 for adults and children respectively.