Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Cyril Nzama says the current crop of players must draw inspiration from the class of 2001 that won the African Cup Winners’ Cup.
The African Cup was a continental football competition that started in 1975 and merged with the CAF Cup in 2004 to form the Caf Confederation Cup.
Against the odds, Amakhosi beat Angola’s Interclube 2-1 on aggregate in the two-legged final to lift the coveted title under Muhsin Ertugral.
“We only had 14 registered players when we won the African Cup Winners’ Cup, we couldn’t register new players before the final.
“So it was a thin squad from the Last 16 until the final. We would have three substitutes in a game, one being a goalkeeper.
“Muhsin would tell you that if you start the game, you must finish it,” Nzama told FARPost on the eve of Chiefs’ crunch semi-final showdown with Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca.
Chiefs just need a draw to book a place in the final after a hard fought 1-0 win away from home last weekend.
Interestingly, back in 2001, the Soweto giants played a North African side Club Africain of Tunisia in the semi-final of the African Cup Winners Cup. They beat them 2-0 and 1-0 to book a place in the final.
Nzama, who later captained Amakhosi, believes there is more at stake for the current generation of players. He called on them to do it for the fans, the chairman and the club’s ex-players who wore the badge with pride.
“We went all the way and beat an Angolan team 1-0 with 14 players. If we could do it under those circumstances, then the current team can do it.
“For us, it was pure dedication because there was no money involved and a winning club would not get prize money.
“It’s different now, Chiefs have a very good squad, a big pool of players, support from management and there’s monetary incentive for them because there’s a prize money.
“It should inspire them, it is possible,” added ‘Skhokho’ who is celebrating his 47th birthday on Saturday.
Chiefs were then named African Club of the Year after the 2001 triumph. Nzama is convinced booking a place in the final would end their season in style after battling to get into the top eight this season.
The match will be played at FNB Stadium and kick off is at 18:00 this evening.
By Mthokozisi Dube