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Why Katsande is still massive for Chiefs

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KAIZER CHIEF’s midfield enforcer Willard Katsande remains a key figure for the club and it has been explained what makes him so indispensable.

Katsande has divided opinion in recent times on whether he is still as valuable to Chiefs as he was during coach Stuart Baxter’s trophy-laden spell.

The former Zimbabwe international has been with Amakhosi for nine years since arriving from Ajax Cape Town, and some feel he is now passed his best.

At 34, ‘Salt and Vinegar’ continues to command a regular spot in the heart of midfield and his significance remains evident in that the current Absa Premiership log leaders have lost three of the six league games he has missed this season.

Assistant coach Shaun Bartlett has explained why Katsande is more than just a tough tackler in the middle of the park.

“He’s a leader and a core player; he’s one of the most experienced players we have in the squad, and everyone looks at Katsande and the first thing [they speak of] is physicality and tackles and everything,” Bartlett told KCTV.

“But for us, it’s more [about] his tactical discipline – how he holds his position, what he gives to us as a team and how he gives cover to the defenders when they go out of position.”

With George Maluleka having now moved on to Mamelodi Sundowns, Katsande may have to play an even more important role to assist the likes of Kearyn Baccus, Anthony Akumu, or whoever else is called upon to plug the gap.