Robson Sharuko


ON Saturday, I watched Khama Billiat in action, for the first time, since his return home to end his successful football career where it started.

I was not sure what to expect from Billiat even though he has found a decent touch, in front of goal, in recent weeks for the unpredictable Yadah.

I wanted to see if there was anything left, in Billiat’s tank, to provide the X-Factor, which used to be a big part of his football when he was at the peak of his powers.

I knew he would get some rough treatment, which comes with his profile, and the Herentals defenders didn’t make it easy for him.

However, within the first 20 minutes, I had seen enough that Billiat still has that magical touch.

His first run at the Herentals defence was typical Billiat, at his flowing best, timing his run to perfection to break the Students offside trap.

The control was vintage Billiat and, although a defender had tracked back to try and block his path, he decided to go straight at him.

There was a dummy, which gave him the space he needed as he cut in from the left and his shot, hit with his right foot, had the power but not the accuracy.

At the very end, it drifted just wide of the goalkeeper’s right goal post.

He was the constant threat throughout the first half and one didn’t need to be an expert in football to see that there was a marked difference in class between him and the rest of the players on the pitch.

A moment of madness in the second half, after losing his temper, earned him a red card which means there will be no reunion with his former club CAPS United in Yadah’s next game.

But, what I picked from that day is that Billiat is still good enough for the Warriors despite his retirement from international duty three years ago.

There are some who will argue that he shouldn’t be judged on what he does against defenders in the local Premiership.

But a good footballer isn’t defined by the opposition he faces but by what he does when he has the ball and Billiat, even at 34, still has the magical feet to play for the Warriors.

He still has that X-Factor, which differentiates good footballers and the stars of this game, and there is no doubt he can still add value to the Warriors attack.

He didn’t need to score on Saturday to convince me that he still has the quality to play for the national team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *