Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has explained they are holding trials at Naturena as part of their rigorous profiling process to ensure they sign players who will be able to settle down quickly at the club.
In the recent past Chiefs have signed players who have failed to make the grade at such a big club. These include Lazarous Kambole, Siphelele Ntshangase, Anthony Akumu, Godfrey Walusimbi, Michelle Katsvairo, Edmore Chirambadare, Camaldine Abraw and Ovidy Karuru.
Over the past few weeks, Zwane has been trialling four forwards — Hungarian Bálint Bajner, Congolese Christian Saile Bambouli, Mozambicans Amânsio Canhembe and Stanley Ratifo — plus German-Italian defender Maurizio Macorig.
Ahead of the 2022-23 season Burundian Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana — now top scorer in the DStv Premiership — was on trial for weeks before being signed.
Major clubs do not always hold trials for players, often making signings based on scouting knowledge. Zwane was asked to explain why Chiefs have decided to use the process.
“In terms of the trialists, in the past we would just see a good player [and sign them]. But of late we are profiling players and I know people don’t understand this.”
“And maybe if I explain it further they will understand why we came up with this idea,” Zwane said, adding the trials help Chiefs closely analyse players and introduce them to the way of doing things at Naturena.
“We can’t just bring any player because Kaizer Chiefs is a beast and it is not just another team that you can play for and easily settle.
“We wanted to see a lot of things from the players. We wanted to see if they can cope with our high intensity sessions that are highly explosive and also to see how he settles when he is at the Village [Chiefs’ headquarters].
“We will ask them questions as to what they think. We want to bring players who will add value and who want to learn from us and we want to learn from them. Be it a foreigner or a local boy, they must come and add value.
“The player might be a star elsewhere but he might not be a Kaizer Chiefs player because of the pressure that comes with being part and parcel of Chiefs.”
“That is why we have had players who maybe do well in the first season and in the second season they drop.
“Because of the demands, their performances might drop because a lot of people are saying a lot of things.”
“They can’t take their game to another level, not because of ill-discipline or other things outside football but because they can’t deal with the pressure.
“We are just trying to test their mindset and see if they are able to cope with those things.”
Fourth-placed Chiefs, who returned from the World Cup break with a 2-0 win away against Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday, meet 15th-positioned Sekhukhune United next at FNB Stadium on Saturday night.