Khama roadshow goes to Sakubva

24 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Khama roadshow goes to Sakubva

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda

The Colliery Stadium in Hwange was the setting for Khama Billiat’s return to Premier Soccer League action, some 15 years after his brief flirtation with the domestic game.

As fate would have it, Billiat also played 15 minutes on his debut for Yadah Stars, who fell to a narrow 0-1 defeat against Chipangano a fortnight ago.

Billiat was only 18 when he left CAPS United for Ajax Cape Town of South Africa in 2010 and was virtually an unknown entity. He had played some cameo roles for Makepekepe while on loan from the Aces Youth Soccer Academy.

But, thanks to a largely successful stay in the South African Premiership — where he won the CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016 before being named among the best players in Africa — Billiat built a high profile in that country.

It is against the background of his huge profile that he made a sensational return to local top-flight in February.

Billiat’s return has ignited a frenzy as evidenced by the raucous welcome he received in Hwange.  He almost got onto the scoresheet in the few minutes he played, but was denied by the upright as Yadah sought an elusive equaliser.

The ex-Warriors international is now expected to play more minutes for Yadah after coach Thomas Ruzive revealed that Billiat’s fitness level “has vastly improved”.

Therefore, a lot is expected of Billiat when he takes his roadshow to Mutare, where Yadah face newly promoted Bikita Minerals in a rearranged Premiership fixture at Sakubva this afternoon.

Bikita Minerals were last week finally confirmed Eastern Region Soccer League champions after a futile attempt by Tenax to scupper the proclamation.

Although they begin life in the elite league with a backlog, the Lithium Boys will make history by becoming the first club from Bikita to play in the PSL.

But for obvious reasons, Billiat will also hog the limelight in this encounter and the former Kaizer chiefs man appears to be enjoying the return to local settings.

“It’s very exciting to be playing back home,” Billiat said.

He revealed that he was surprised with the massive support he got from Hwange fans but insists “it’s not all about Khama, but about Yadah Stars as a team’’.

“I think the game against Hwange was a good one. It was the first time for some of us, but at the end of the day, we need to keep pushing.

“There are a lot of things that we are working on but we will try and focus on ourselves as much as possible and make sure we stay on course.”

Billiat has been working hard to regain full match fitness, after going for more than a year on the sidelines, prior to his move to Yadah.

He is also confident that with time he will be back to his best. His revival journey continues with the match against Bikita.

“We didn’t play last weekend because our opponents (Bikita Minerals) had some issues, but we are not focusing on that at the moment. We are focusing on where we are and where we are going as a team, so that we get the best results.

“Of course, I expect to get more minutes, but that’s up to the coach. If I get the opportunity to play more games, I will give it my all.”

Should he stay fit, Billiat is set for a grand return to Rufaro on Good Friday, when Yadah host Dynamos at the traditional home of football.  Rufaro is expected to reopen its gates to Premiership football after having been closed for five years. But Billiat is not yet thinking about that.

“We are focusing on one game at a time, so it’s Bikita Minerals first, but obviously we need a good result to boost our morale ahead of the next assignment.

“So, the focus is more on the team than an individual.

“But surely, it will be good to feature again at Rufaro; it’s a historic stadium,” added Billiat.


 X: @LangtonGuraz




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