Willard Katsande
Willard Katsande, Sekhukhune United, Zimbabwean Soccer
BornWillard Katsande
(1986-01-15) January 15, 1986 (age 36)
Mutoko
Occupation
  • Soccer Player


EmployerSekhukhune United
Known forMaking hard tackles
Notable workWon the Super Diski with Kaizer Chiefs

Willard Katsande is a Zimbabwean footballer who plays for DStv Premiership side Sekhukhune United F.C. He is one of the best midfielders in the country and plays the position of central defensive midfielder. Katsande joined the South African team, Sekhukhune United in 2021.

In July 2022, it was reported that Katsande was set to retire from professional football and be named a brand ambassador for Sekhukhune United after he was omitted from the squad for the 2022/23 season.[1]

Background

He was born on the 15th of January 1986 in Mutoko. He had one sibling, Susan Katsande who died in January 2014.[2]

Career

Kastande started off playing for low division one league where he played for virtually unknown teams such Frontier Steel Football Club, Feruka Football Club and Highway Football Club.

It was when he played for the latter that Katsande was spotted by the 2010 Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League champions, Gunners Football Club. The same year Gunners brought the midfielder to play in top flight championships in Harare.

He was outstanding in all Gunners Champions league matches, but impressed the coaches very much in the team's 1-0 victory over former African champions Al Ahly at Rufaro Stadium.[3] It was on that occasion Katsande's fortunes were turned as he was spotted by Ajax Cape Town who signed him for the 2010/2011 season.

An injury at the club restricted his appearance only featuring in 5 games and scoring a single goal. He was then signed by Chiefs after his impressive show when the Warriors played a friendly with Zambia in 2011.

National Team Caps

Katsande represented the national team on several occasions. The then Warriors head coach Callisto Pasuwa appointed Katsande captain for the first time for Zimbabwe in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi at Chichiri Stadium in Blantyre in June 2015.

The other players who were part of the squad to face Malawi included, Khama Billiat, Cuthbert Malajila, Matthew Rusike, Nyasha Mushekwi and Knowledge Musona. Explaining his decision to name Katsande the captain[4], Pasuwa said:

Willie is a team leader. He is also one of the most experienced players in the team and we needed a player like him to lead the team as we start the Afcon 2017 campaign against Malawi.

Katsande was forced into international retirement due to a ZIFA ban imposed on him after returning from the 2017 AFCON tournament in Gabon.

He returned to the Warriors the following year after the lifting of the sanction but failed to nail a berth in the team that went on to qualify for the 2019 AFCON[5]. He retired from the national team soon after that.

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Katsande


Awards

  • South African Premier League Winners Medal
  • Online Player of the year award (Kaizer Chiefs Awards)
  • Fan Player of the season (Kaizer Chiefs Awards)
  • Player of the season (Kaizer Chiefs Awards)[6]


Clubs

Katsande had played for the following clubs:

  • Frontier Steel (2002–2005)
  • Feruka (2006–2007)
  • Highway (2007–2009)
  • Gunners (2009–2010)
  • Ajax Cape Town (2010–2011)
  • Kaizer Chiefs (2011-2021)
  • Sekhukhune United (2021 to present)

Controversy 1

Katsande courted controversy when he failed to travel to Tanzania for the first leg of the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifier against Tanzania earlier in May 2014. Katsande said he missed the game because he was sick, a claim that was not accepted by many of his teammates. The latter believed Katsande was not ill but rather boycotted the match in order to attend the South African end-of-season awards which were held on the same day as the match.[7] He was in line for two top awards, PSL Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season although he won none. His late withdraw is reported to have angered Warriors coach Ian Gorowa but the two ironed out their differences with Katsande joining other players in preparation for the second leg.[8]

References

  1. , Lorenz Kohler, KATSANDE SET FOR NEW ADVENTURE, Published August 3, 2022, Retrieved 4 August 2022
  2. Condolences to Katsnde Family, Kaizer Chiefs, Published: 24 Jan 2014, Retrieved: 28 May 2014
  3. Willard Katsande, Beez Sports, Retrieved: 28 May 2014
  4. Katsande To Captain Warriors, Published June 13, 2015, Retrieved 4 August 2022
  5. Katsande quits Warriors again, reveals ambition to return as coach, Published July 13, 2019, Retrieved 4 August 2022
  6. Katsande sweeps Chiefs awards, Kickoff, Published: May 23, 2014, Retrieved: June 25, 2015
  7. Nigel Matongorere, Gorowa pardons Katsande, DailyNews, Published: 28 May 2014, Retrieved: 28 May 2014
  8. Tawanda Tafirenyika, Willard Katsande back in Warriors squad, NewsDay, Published: 28 May 2014, Retrieved: 28 May 2014