A winner of the 2001 CAF Cup Winners Cup with Kaizer Chiefs Stanton Fredericks believes that Amakhosi need to demonstrate the same type of grit and determination that they have shown in their last few games when they face Wydad Casablanca in the first leg of their CAF Champions League Semi-final away from home on 19 June.
‘Stiga’ as he was affectionately known by the fans during his playing days, has urged Amakhosi players to make the most of the opportunity ahead of them and write their names into the annals of history.
“You now need courage to go on – but that does not come from the coaches,” commented Fredericks. “Players need to be sitting down, discussing and understanding success on the continent stays with you and the team forever – it becomes part of your legacy. The importance of this competition is beyond comprehension, you need to understand that when you move into the final stages.”
Fredericks also feels that Chiefs have an advantage playing the first leg away from home. “I have always been a fan of playing away first in two legged ties,” he reveals. “In the 2001 Cup Winners Cup Final, we played away first against Inter Luanda. When you play away, you discipline you try and not lose – to score is a bonus. I always feel playing away first is an advantage. The difference now is there are no fans and that nullifies the advantage of an away leg and home leg quite a bit.”
The former midfielder who featured in six games in Chiefs run to the 2001 CAF Cup Winners Cup also holds the view that Chiefs disappointment in losing the title on the last day of the season in 2019-20 will help be a catalyst towards continental success.
“I think the players owe it to themselves,” he says. “Losing the league title in 2019-20 on the last day impacted them. Here is the opportunity to make everything right again. I don’t think it’s about ability, it is about the opportunity. That’s what football gives you – the opportunity to correct your wrongs. This is an opportunity to pay themselves back.”
With the opportunity now ahead of them Fredericks was left impressed with the way Amakhosi fought their way back into top eight contention and believes those performances against Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy in their final two league games show there is a lot of fight in this Chiefs team.
“Chiefs have showed a lot of fight recently and with them getting into the top eight in their last two games shows a lot of grit. They are a side that’s on the up and they all have confidence they need to do well.”
“I do believe that they have every chance against the Moroccans, especially with Samir Nurković looking like he is up to the fight. Putting Leonard Castro up there you have physicality and with the experience of Bernard Parker and Lebogang Manyama coming to the party, free scoring the quality is there.”
Fredericks was with Chiefs from 2001 until 2004, spending three seasons with Glamour Boys and winning five trophies in three seasons with the club. They included the 2003-04 league title and 2001-02 African Cup winners Cup title.