Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Bartlett heaps praise on ‘tactically disciplined’ Katsande

Despite being underrated, the Amakhosi assistant manager speaks highly of the experienced midfielder

Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Shaun Bartlett has come out in defence of hard-tackling midfielder Willard Katsande, saying the Zimbabwe international is one of their key figures.

Despite many left to believe that the Amakhosi skipper is just a physical player with no discipline, the former Bafana Bafana striker explained ‘Salt and Vinegar’s’ role in the team, and praised him for being a “core” player.

The former Ajax Cape Town enforcer was also commended for his ability to cover the defensive line and for his leadership qualities.

“Katsande is a leader, he is a core player, he is one of the most experienced players we have in the squad,” said Bartlett as quoted by FARPost.

“Everybody looks at Katsande and the first thing is like the physicality in tackles and everything but for us is more his tactical discipline, how he holds his position, what he gives to us as a team and how he gives cover to the defenders when they go out of position.”

Katsande has been a crucial member of the Naturena giants since making his switch to Gauteng from the Urban Warriors ahead of the 2011/12 South African domestic season.

Taking a look at this season, the 34-year-old Warriors veteran has featured in 20 games for coach Ernst Middendorp’s troops and managed to pitch in with a single assist across all competitions so far.

With the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season currently halted because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chiefs were on course to dethrone reigning PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

The table-toppers have 48 points at the summit from 22 matches and were scheduled to meet Bidvest Wits away from home when the games were indefinitely suspended back in March.

Meanwhile, the two-time PSL winner with the Glamour Boys extended his deal with Chiefs until June 2021 in January this year and has over 250 appearances for the club, netting 16 goals.