Kaizer Chiefs report card: Assessing Baccus’ 2019-20 season

Amakhosi signed an outstanding and versatile player in the Durban-born midfielder, and here is why he should be proud of his first year in the PSL

Kearyn Baccus joined Kaizer Chiefs at the start of the season after arriving from Australia, but he has already proven to be a decent player for the Naturena-based side. 

Amakhosi needed someone as consistent as Baccus to pull all the right strings in midfield and bring about stability and competition to the likes of George Maluleka and Willard Katsande. 

But has the former Australia junior international lived up to the expectations in the past eight months in the PSL?  

Great start to life at Chiefs 

Baccus pulled the crowd his way when Chiefs first announced his signature and people were dying to see him in action. 

What sent tongues wagging was the fact that he is South African – born in Durban but went abroad to start his professional career.  

After arriving, Baccus walked straight into the Chiefs starting – not that coach Ernst Middendorp had a choice because he couldn’t have signed a player from abroad to come and sit on the bench in the PSL. 

He had a great start to life at Chiefs, announcing his arrival with an assist on debut against Highlands Park despite only playing 45 of the 90 minutes.

Middendorp gradually introduced Baccus to the system and the former Melbourne City star in his fourth match, scoring against Cape Town City in another 45-minute appearance, and things started falling into place soon afterwards. 

Dislodging Katsande in midfield 

Kearyn Baccus, Kaizer Chiefs

At one stage, Baccus relegated midfield stalwart Willard Katsande to the bench, and for a moment, the majority of Chiefs forgot about one of their most loyal servants. 

Prior to losing his place in the starting line-up for a few games, Baccus had already recorded two assists and a single goal in seven league matches, and this was no doubt an impressive start for somebody who was still adapting to life in the PSL. 

His command in midfield led to Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki admitting that he could consider Baccus for future call-ups. 

Baccus’ superb displays even sparked the conversation around the retired No.15 jersey at Chiefs – the player expressed the desire to wear the jersey but opinions were divided among football fanatics in the country – as there were those who felt he was nowhere near the level of club legend Doctor Khumalo.     

Overall performance 

Kearyn Baccus - Kaizer Chiefs April 2020

The 28-year-old should be proud of his contribution to Chiefs sitting atop of the PSL log after 22 games. 

Baccus missed a few of Amakhosi’s 27 matches across all competitions – the majority which Chiefs won with him in the team – either in the starting line-up or as a substitute. 

He also proved versatile – juggling all the positions across the midfield – be it on the right or left flank or in central midfield where he started out when he first arrived. 

With Chiefs having already lost four matches in the league, it is worth noting that Middendorp’s men lost just twice with Baccus on the field while they also lost the other two matches with him on the bench. 

But four assists and a goal to his name is more than enough to give Baccus the thumbs-up in his first season with the Glamour Boys.