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Katsande emotional as he departs Chiefs after 10 years

Veteran departs with record for most games by a foreign national

Neville Khoza Journalist
Willard Katsande became the first foreign player to rack up 326 games for Amakhosi.
Willard Katsande became the first foreign player to rack up 326 games for Amakhosi.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Winning four titles, making 326 appearances, and playing in the CAF Champions League final, all with Kaizer Chiefs, is what Willard Katsande will cherish as he says goodbye to the club after 10 years of service.

This is what the Zimbabwean midfielder said in his letter posted on his social media pages yesterday.

He joined Chiefs in 2011 from Ajax Cape Town and went on to win the Nedbank Cup, MTN8 and two league titles.

He also became the first foreign player to rack up 326 games for Amakhosi.

Compatriot Tinashe Nengomasha, a Chiefs legend in his own right, previously held the record with 325 appearances for the club.

Katsande's last match for Chiefs was in the Champions League final against Al Ahly on July 17 in Morocco, where they lost 3-0.

In the letter, the 35-year-old said he was proud of what he had achieved with the club during his decade-long stay.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must leave my beloved Kaizer Chiefs family. I am eternally grateful to the chairman of the club, Mr Kaizer Motaung, for granting me the opportunity to represent this great institution over the past 10 years,” he said.

“To the peace-loving fans of Kaizer Chiefs, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your support and encouragement over the years. You have constantly been the 12th man lifting our spirits, during the good times and difficult phases.

“I trust that I represented the badge and brand with the respect and dignity it deserves. Respect the badge in front and the faithful will forever remember the name at the back.

“I am blessed beyond imagination, having represented my childhood dream club for over 320 games, lifted four trophies, and participated in the Champions League. Kaizer Chiefs is my family and will always be in my heart.”

Katsande’s decade with Chiefs was littered with some exciting ups and nerve-racking downs. Throughout his career, he was known for his no-nonsense approach in the heart of midfield and workaholic attitude.

In the 2015/16 season, he won player of the season, players’ player of the season and fans' player of the season honours at the Chiefs awards ceremony.

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