Young Kaizer Chiefs star Njabulo Blom, will have to put on an age defying performance, and spoil the emotional return to Soweto of his former veteran captain Bernard Parker, when Amakhosi take on TS Galaxy at FNB Stadium today (Wednesday).
The 36-year-old Parker made the switch to The Rockets this season, after spending 11 years at Naturena in a decorated career, that came to a close at 350 caps and over 60 goals. Besides captaining Kaizer Chiefs and leading their attack, Parker also helped to guide some of the younger players that presently don the gold and black.
One of those talented proteges is 22-year-old Blom, who will cherish the prospect of going up against his former skipper. The young Bafana Bafana ace has had a great start to the season at the heart of the Chiefs midfield, and has already declared that he is looking forward to facing the equally impressive Rockets.
“I feel good. I think I have been doing well. We have also been doing well as a team. I am really happy,” said Blom.
Besides stopping the marauding runs of Parker, the Amakhosi young midfielder has the added hunger to score his first goal for the Soweto giants, driving him to put on a man-size performance.
“As a player, it’s something that has been on my mind. I pray for that first goal (for Chiefs),” he said.
Parker may have scored 60 goals during his time at chiefs, but has acknowledged that the return to face the club that was his home for more than 10 years, evokes mixed feelings.
“It’s exciting but it also triggers emotions to play against my ex-team. I don’t know if I will celebrate if I score, but we will see on the day,” said the former Bafana Bafana hitman.
The rivalry might be fierce on the field, but Parker expects a great return to Soweto.
“I hope to receive a warm reception because of what I have done there. I have done a lot in the last 11 years. I am really anticipating a welcoming atmosphere,” he said.
Both teams are feeling the heat, and are keen to bounce back from disappointing results. Chiefs suffered a 2-1 loss to Chippa last week, while The Rockets have drawn their last five games.
Kickoff is set for 19.30 at FNB