‘Billiat’s club-country issue has a solution’

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Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Jimmy Jambo suggests a better communication between the team’s mentor Ernst Middendorp and his Zimbabwean national team counterpart Joey Antipas can solve the continuous quarrel about Khama Billiat.

Middendorp has many times in recent weeks bemoaned the “over use” of the recovering Billiat by Antipas in Zimbabwe’s games, most notably their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Zambia last month.

But Middendorp was left frustrated as Billiat failed a late fitness test before their crucial Telkom Knockout semifinal encounter against Maritzburg United which Amakhosi eventually lost.

He again pulled his hamstring and was substituted early in the second half in a league encounter against Stellenbosch, leading to Middendorp expressing his discontent about the situation a few months ago after Billiat played for The Warriors injured.

Ex Chiefs and Zimbabwe left back Jimmy Jambo.

Jambo, who won the league and Telkom Knockout with Amakhosi, believes this can be managed better.

“It’s just communication between the two coaches, something that they need to talk about. I don’t think it’s something bigger than it seems,” Jambo says.

“It’s a just a miscommunication of the coach needing to talk to another coach on the other side on how best they can manage the player,” says Jambo who nurtures the U13s at Naturena.

“They both need the player. So it’s about how they find the balance. He would like to play for his country as much as he likes to play for Chiefs.

“It’s just player management that both need to be part of communication wise. Khama is important for Zimbabwe. You can see if he is there. He is the one who scored two goals against Zambia. A national team coach is fighting for his own life so he wouldn’t think of taking Khama out. At the end of the day if it’s all communicated well, it would be good.”

Jambo was forced into an early retirement due to a horrific knee injury he suffered in a clash with his countryman Tinashe Nengomasha during a Telkom Knockout match against Bidvest Wits in 2012.

Zakhele Futhi

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