Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
KHAMA Billiat will remain at Kaizer Chiefs until 2023 after the CAF Champions League losing finalists extended his contract with two seasons.
Chiefs announced Billiat’s new deal together with other four senior players whose contracts had expired.
“He (Billiat) will be with Amakhosi for two more seasons after signing for two years. The Zimbabwean attacking midfielder arrived at Chiefs in 2018 ahead of the 2018/19 season,” said Chiefs in a statement.
Billiat’s contract extension marks the return of his old combination with Leonardo Castro and Keegan Dolly which fired up Mamelodi Sundowns some years ago.
Popularly known as the ‘CBD’, Castro, Billiat and Dolly dazzled at Masandawana under Pitso Mosimane to help the team clinch its first ever Champions League.
Chiefs announced the signing of Dolly and Cole Alexander who are both returning to the DStv Premiership after stints overseas in an earlier statement yesterday.
“Dolly will reunite with Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro after playing with them in the same team in 2014/15, while Alexander will be happy to reconnect with Sifiso Hlanti, Kgaogelo Sekgota, Brandon Peterson and Phathutshedzo Nange who were his teammates at Wits just over a year ago,” said Chiefs.
In another statement last night, the club announced the departure of Willard Katsande ending his 10-year stint at Naturena.
He was one of the players who were offered short-term deals to participate in the Champions League final against Al Ahly earlier this month.
The 35-year-old has helped Amakhosi clinch two PSL titles, the Nedbank Cup and the MTN8 during his time with the club.
“Leading the list of those who will exit Naturena is Club legend Willard Katsande. The Zimbabwean joined Amakhosi in 2011 from Ajax Cape Town. After ten years with Chiefs, the midfielder holds the record of being the most capped foreigner after playing 326 official matches.
“The Club would like to truly thank all the players for the immense contribution to Kaizer Chiefs over the last number of seasons. Special mention goes to Willard Katsande who spent the last decade with Chiefs, giving his all.
#Amakhosi4Life,” announced Chiefs.
While Katsande has been ‘snubbed’, other senior players have been offered new deals.
“Senior players Itumeleng Khune, Lebogang Manyama, Khama Billiat, Bernard Parker and Ramahlwe Mphahlele will continue playing for Kaizer Chiefs in the new season as their contracts have been extended by the Club.
“Khune is the longest serving player in the current team as he has been a part of the senior team set-up since 2004. The goalkeeper has been given two years’ extension to his contract. This means the player will go into his record-equalling 18th season with Kaizer Chiefs’ senior team. He joins Patrick ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe in the record books of Amakhosi.
Ntsoelengoe played for Chiefs from 1970 and retired in 1988.
“Amakhosi have also signed another one-year contract with option to extend for a further year with attacking midfielder Lebogang Manyama. The Alexandra township-born player arrived at Chiefs from Konyaspor in Turkey in the 2017/18 and has been a key player for the Glamour Boys.
“Captain Bernard Parker will get to play in his 11th season for Amakhosi as he has also been given a one-year contract extension. The attacker played 42 games last season for Chiefs, making him the second most capped player of the 2020/21 season. He also captained the team in the latter part of the season. He played and captained 13 of the 15 CAF Champion league games for Chiefs last season.
“Defender Mphahlele has also received a contract extension for the next season with a one-year option.
The Ga-Mphahlele born player joined Chiefs in 2016. He was appointed captain of the team at the start of the season but also struggled with injuries. He will go into his 6th season with Amakhosi,” reads the statement.