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#SowetoDerby Fever: 5 minutes with Bernard Parker

Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Sport

1. How are you preparing for the big game on Saturday?

Firstly with preparing for games with such great magnitude, I prepare myself mentally, making sure I don’t get myself too busy ahead of the build up to the game. I get myself relaxed which will also help me with physical relaxation. I make sure I don’t visit grandma or grandpa so that I get as much rest as possible, physically and mentally. I psych myself up by watching clips of myself, how I do my business and from there on. Then, there is training with the group, you know the normal preparation.

2. Do you still get nervous before a derby?

Yes, I still get nervous, I still get butterflies in my stomach and I’m sure each and every footballer in the world gets those feelings before any big game.

3. What is your score prediction for Saturday?

A win for Kaizer Chiefs, goals for Chiefs-hopefully more than one but no goals for Pirates. I’ll say a win for us.

4. What are the locker room chats about before a big game?

Locker room preparation is mostly singing, we sing and we dance like a pre-warm up activation....psyching ourselves up  for the game.

5. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car driving to the game? 

I visualize, I don’t  think much, I just visualize. I visualize myself scoring, making a great pass and making a great tackle.

6. Complete this sentence: Before I get onto the field on derby day, I…say a short prayer and ask God to guide me through the match and thank him for blessing me with such great talent. I’m about to go on the stage to perform with what he has blessed me with and entertain the rest of the football lovers.

7. What are some of the bad habits you dislike from fellow teammates in the locker room?

There is somebody who is always next to me and he always annoys me when he comes with his big bag and he puts the big bag in front of us. Whenever I need to get up to see the physiotherapist or go to the bathroom I have to jump over this big bag. (laughing, he tells us it’s Ryan Moon)

8. The most nervous team member before a game is… Eric Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso who is always biting his nails the day before.

9. If you could switch bodies with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Nah, I don’t think I would switch bodies with anyone hey.

10. What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

A fan once told me ‘You guys are killing us’, I then said to him ‘why?', and he replied with: ‘You guys keep losing and you didn’t score'. I then said ‘But for the first month we have been winning every game and scoring', so clearly he wasn’t watching.

11. Finally, who would win an arm wrestling competition between you and Itumeleng Khune?

Of course I would win because I think I’m stronger than him and I’ve got bigger muscles than him! I think Khune wouldn’t even win against anyone in the club in an arm wrestle!

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