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Buchanan plans his breakthrough

By Nkareng Matshe | 2017-07-25 10:57:01.0

As the new Absa Premiership season looms, Keagan Buchanan believes there's a role for him in Kaizer Chiefs' midfield to help the club return to glory days.

Whether Steve Komphela feels the same is another story, however, after the Amakhosi coach limited the midfielder to a mere seven appearances all of last season.

Buchanan's role, mainly, was to be the club ambassador, appearing at marketing events and occasionally playing for the reserves.

He could be found in what many would say was a fitting role for him last week, as the club promoted their new jerseys, where he was signing autographs and posing for selfies.

But in the coming season, he wants to be more on the field rather than off it.

"We have a competitive midfield, but I believe there's a place for me in there. I can bring in something different, a new dimension," Buchanan said. "I know I have to work hard on certain aspects that the coach said I should work on, in order to gain a starting place."

To be fair to Buchanan, part of his struggle to make it into the Chiefs XI was due to a long- term knee injury that he arrived at the club with after signing from Bloemfontein Celtic last winter.

"I was out for 10 months - that's a long time. It took me some time to heal. But this time I have had full pre-season with the team, no injuries. So definitely I should get more game time than I did in my first season."

Buchanan, 25, listened attentively as chairman Kaizer Motaung pleaded with the players at the team's awards dinner last month to end the club's two-year trophy drought.

"We want to make the chairman happy. The supporters deserve something in the new season. A trophy is a must, because all of us are feeling the pain. It's not nice to go so long without a trophy for a team of our calibre."

The league championship is Amakhosi's main target in the new season, which will kick off on August 18, and Buchanan says the first half of the campaign should determine if Chiefs have the courage to compete for the title.

"We have to do well in big games, but the unfancied teams are where we lost points last season... We need to win those games if we are to compete."