By Grace Chingoma
WARRIORS coach Callisto Pasuwa believes the time is now ripe for Zimbabwe international Khama Billiat to move to a better league in Europe as he has done everything to prove his class in the South African Premiership.
Billiat is likely to sweep all the big awards when the ABSA Premiership hold their awards ceremony on Monday night after he was nominated for the Footballer of the Year, Player’s Player of the Year as well as Midfielder of the Year awards.
He has since won the Kick Off Footballer of the Year award voted by the popular South African football magazine’s readers and also finished as Mamelodi Sundowns’ top goalscorer with 12 goals in the just-ended season. He was only two goals shy of the league’s Golden Boot winner Collins Mbesuma of Zambia.
The exciting winger moved to South Africa in 2010 where he featured for Ajax Cape Town for two seasons before moving to Mamelodi Sundowns.
Billiat, who could emerge R2 million richer when all the awards ceremonies have been completed, could also scoop the Mamelodi Sundowns’ President’s award.
His exploits in the ABSA Premiership have not escaped the attention of his Warriors coach with Pasuwa arguing that Billiat, who has helped Sundowns reach the Champions League group stage, needed to break into the European Leagues.
“It is good the way he has been playing in South Africa. He is in great form. He is a boy who has got everything in terms of taking on the man, taking power play. He is short but it’s amazing the way he plays. We hope if he keeps on like this, he will go far in terms of his play.
“I am one person who also thinks it is now time for him to move to European clubs and he has done a lot for South African league. He has proven he can do anything in a game,” said Pasuwa.
The Brazilians’ coach Pitso Mosimane yesterday also spoke about Billiat’s move and said he will not stand in the player’s way should an opportunity arise.
“You can’t stop Khama from going if millions of Euros are coming from the other side.
“He has to go, why not?” Mosimane told KickOff.
Billiat has attracted interests from Belgium and French clubs such as Lille and Monaco.
Pasuwa said he cherishes to have the star in his team when the Warriors prepare for the crunch African Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi next Sunday.
“He should take the Warriors match against Malawi as one of the games he has been playing in South Africa and if he takes it like that then we know everything would be easy for us,” he said.
However, the Warriors gaffer said he is slightly worried that fatigue might affect the diminutive midfielder as he has endured a busy season with his club.
“We are mostly worried with fatigue. He has played so many games and that is one area which we may end up complaining about. But if he plays the way he has been playing (in South Africa this season), it would be an advantage for us.
“We have been considering all that. We benched Khama and everyone was complaining, remember we went to Swaziland and came back and the load was too much for him.
“Again we will have to consider that. They have finished their games in South Africa and waiting for the awards. We will see when he comes back. The load was too much for him.
“I am talking of a player who has rested for a week so we will see when he comes in how he would be,” said Pasuwa.
In the last Warriors match against Swaziland, Billiat had to come from the bench after the coach made a brave decision to rest him.
The former Dynamos gaffer said he knows that their opponents will come with a game-plan bordering around the slippery attacking midfielder.
“I am a coach and Malawi has got coaches so they are doing their plans and it would be centered on him so it is one area which we should look out for like option B if things go that way so we need to talk to him.
“But Khama is one player who doesn’t have one dimension of play. He can easily change, he can dribble, he can play basic football which is one area he has got an advantage if things are tough for him. “He can also go into dangerous positions and passes the ball very well,” said Pasuwa. The Herald