- Veteran striker Bernard Parker says it's up to Kaizer Chiefs to retain or release him from the club
- Known for his versatility and experience, Parker says he would love to remain at Chiefs because the team is his family
- The former Bafana Bafana striker's sentiments come as he completes the last month of his contract at Naturena with Chiefs
Speaking at the launch of the Carling Black Label Cup on Tuesday, Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker says he would like to stay with the Soweto giants. ‘Die Hond’s' contract is set to expire at the end of the 2020/21 DStv Premiership season and has reaffirmed his love for the club.
With Amakhosi yet to indicate whether they will retain or release him, the former Bafana Bafana striker says Naturena is where his heart is and that the club is his family.
Parker said to SowetanLIVE:
“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 10-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.”
Looking at their remaining league matches, coach Gavin Hunt’s troops include the likes of Black Leopards, Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy and the veteran says their focus is to finish in the top eight.
Amakhosi will face Lidoda Duvha on Wednesday afternoon and will be expected to secure the full three points to redeem their lacklustre displays in the domestic campaign. He added:
“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 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 ballgames and I am also sharing my experience with the younger players in our travels on the continent.”
Talking about their struggles, Parker lamented the FIFA ban which barred Kaizer Chiefs from bolstering their ranks but they have done well in the CAF Champions League as they are in the semi-finals. He continued:
“We never beefed up the team, 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. 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.”
IOL also reported that the Parker has been at Chiefs for 10 years after joining the club in 2011 from Dutch-side FC Twente. In his first five seasons, Parker won two league titles and two domestic trophies under coach Stuart Baxter. But since then, trophies have dried up. He explained:
“Chiefs is forever in my heart. There’s the Black Label Cup that’s coming up. With football, even if you have a 10-year contract or one-month contract, you are still not safe. So what I am doing now is focusing on one game at a time and doing my best.”
Meanwhile, Briefly News reported that Chiefs manager Hunt had showered the veteran striker with praise following a recent 'outstanding' display against Orlando Pirates.
The Cape Town-born coach believes Parker gave a good shift considering they had a limited choice in the heart of the park.
Wearing the captain's armband at the FNB Stadium, Amakhosi managed to end their winless run against the Buccaneers through a solitary goal courtesy of striker Samir Nurkovic.
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