'Experienced players gives Chiefs the edge'

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Now almost forgotten and knitting together pieces of his torn career at KZN Vodacom League side Abaqulusi, Mkhize says he will be keeping a close watch on this duel that is being played in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.

The 35-year-old forward also took time to recall some of his Derby day memories.

“This is one game where you don’t even need a coach,” says Mkhize, who made a surprise move from the Bucs to Amakhosi, a move that failed dismally.

“While I was at Pirates, Gordon Igesund would just say ‘go and play’ because as a player you are already motivated and all you want is action. In the week leading up to the game, you will be feeling this rush factor in you that pushes you to want the game to be played earlier.

“The derby is something special and I still remember the 2000 end-of-season duel at Ellis Park which we drew. Bhele Nomvete struck a double for Chiefs while Andries Sebola and I were on target for Pirates. That was one hell of a cracker game.

“But whoever wins the derby should be in a strong position to make a determined challenge for league honours,” says Mkhize.

While he is now looking from a distance, the Estcourt-born striker still monitors how the two teams play.

“Of late Pirates have shown that they have tremendous pace when they attack, though their finishing is poor because they lack strikers with accuracy; they need a gunman. Chiefs have more mature players who can handle the pressure of the derby and are blessed with a fantastic coach who has made improvements with the way they play. But Chiefs are also not convincing in attack.

“However, I have a feeling that Chiefs, with their experienced players, will win this one. I predict a 2-1 win for Chiefs,” he adds.