Bernard Parker wants to stay on at Naturena beyond the expiry of his contract: 'Chiefs is my family'

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs Gavin Hunt during the 2021 Carling Black Label Cup Launch at Focus Rooms on May 25, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs Gavin Hunt during the 2021 Carling Black Label Cup Launch at Focus Rooms on May 25, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs attacker Bernard Parker has opened up and expressed a burning desire to stay on at Naturena beyond the expiry of his contract at the end of June.

The 35-year-old Parker is among the likes of Khama Billiat, Lebogang Manyama, Bruce Bvuma, Philani Zulu and Willard Katsande, whose contracts are expiring at the end of the current premiership season.

Parker said his heart will always be with Amakhosi after joining the club a decade ago, but the decision to stay on in the south of Johannesburg is not up to him.

“It is up to the management to decide if they want to keep me,” a candid Parker said.

“Chiefs is very much in my heart, the Black Label Cup is coming up and you know with football that even if you have a ten-year contract you are not safe.

"What I am doing now is focusing on one game at a time and to do my best for the club. Chiefs is my family and I definitely want to continue, and I am enjoying my football at the moment.”

Chiefs have three games remaining in the domestic league this season - against Black Leopards, Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy - and Parker said their focus is to finish in the top eight.

“We have a huge challenge ahead with three games to go domestically, and we definitely want to obtain maximum points in these three matches to get into the top eight.

“On the continental front, we are happy that we have reached the semifinals of the Caf Champions League and we are looking forward to it. What is good for us is that we played against Wydad [semifinal opponents] in the group stages, but we must be thoroughly prepared to achieve our goals.

“The challenges that we have faced in the league have made us stronger in the Champions League. It's two different ball games and I am also sharing my experience with the younger players on our travels on the continent.

“We never beefed up the team [due to the ban by world governing body Fifa], and I am not using this as an excuse.

"We had a knife in our hearts [after] losing the league title [to Mamelodi Sundowns] on the last day of last season [after leading the standings for almost the entire season]. We are giving our all week in and week out but things are just not going our way domestically.

“With the struggles that we are going through in the league, we made history by coming this far in the Champions League and we believe that we can go all the way.”

The pre-season Carling Black Label Cup between Chiefs and Orlando Pirates was launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday.