Samir Nurkovic: Kaizer Chiefs have ‘the best fans in the world’

Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs during the Kaizer Chiefs media open day at Kaizer Chiefs Village, Naturena on November 21, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs during the Kaizer Chiefs media open day at Kaizer Chiefs Village, Naturena on November 21, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Before joining Kaizer Chiefs the biggest crowd Samir Nurkovic played in front of was “about 10‚000”.

In the past month the Serbian striker has turned out in front of sold-out crowds in three of South Africa’s iconic 2010 World Cup venues.

In-form Chiefs beat Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in their Absa Premiership game at 50‚000-capacity Loftus Versfeld‚ beat Orlando Pirates on penalties in the Telkom Knockout at 56‚000-seat Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ then beat Pirates again 3-2 in the league at 94‚000-capacity FNB Stadium.

Amakhosi might play at a fourth sold-out venue in successive domestic weekends in their TKO semifinal against Maritzburg United at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday‚ where by Thursday morning 22‚000 of the 38‚000 tickets had been bought.

Nurkovic‚ who joined Chiefs in the preseason from Slovakian second division outfit KFC Komárno‚ admits it has been some experience running out in front of tens of thousands of supporters.

“A wonderful feeling and a wonderful experience for me‚” he said.

“For me‚ right now‚ they are the best fans in the world‚ Amakhosi. They support us whether we play at home or away. When we play away we feel like we play at home.”

Nurkovic said he is enjoying the warm reception he has received from the Amakhosi faithful‚ who have taken to his wholehearted forward play and eye for goal.

“I enjoy every moment‚ on and off he field. We love and appreciate their support‚” he said.

“Me especially – because of them I am giving everything‚ and in every game 100 percent.”

Nurkovic has not just been a hit for his aggressive‚ forceful playing style‚ winning the ball high up the field for Chiefs‚ but also for the four league and cup goals he has scored in 11 games.

Chiefs have won their last eight league and cup games – including two on penalties – going into Sunday’s semifinal (kickoff 3pm).

Maritzburg are unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions.

Lamontville Golden Arrows host Mamelodi Sundowns at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Clermont‚ Durban in Saturday’s semifinal (also 3pm).

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