SOCCER-CHIEFS

22 Jan 2015 17:00pm
BAXTER'S CHIEFS ONE OF THE BEST EVER Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Derrick Spencer says the current Amakhosi side may go down as one of the best since the establishment of the Premiership. "When looking back since the start of the league, I can't remember a side that was more impressive than this Chiefs team," Spencer said. "In the first-half of the season they set the bar and are miles ahead of everybody else." Chiefs were unbeaten in 18 league matches -- having won 14 and drawn four. Their impressive form had secured their position at the top of the table, leaving other challengers in their wake. They also set a new domestic record of 15 consecutive wins in all competitions. Spencer said Chiefs had the potential to break the points record of 65, set by Mamelodi Sundowns last season. "Judging by how well they have performed this far, I see them going on to set a new benchmark," he said. "I don't see anyone stopping them in the second half of the season." Chiefs had amassed 46 points, 15 points ahead of their nearest rivals Sundowns and Wits. Last year's efforts saw The Brazilians win 19 matches for a total of 63 points. The former utility player said Stuart Baxter's team would do even better this time around and go all the way. "I think the disappointment from last season made them more determined. They were in a good position but ended up losing the title." With Amakhosi set to compete in the Caf Champions League in the coming week, Spencer said it was key that Baxter found the right balance. "They will have to juggle their Caf responsibilities as well as their domestic ambitions," Spencer said. "It's going to take a lot out of the team and they will have to fight hard." Top challengers in the league, Sundowns and Wits, will also be competing in Caf competitions. Sundowns qualified automatically for the Champions League as domestic champions, while Wits qualified for the Caf Confederations Cup after finishing runners-up in the Nedbank Cup. Spencer did not believe the departure to SuperSport United of first-choice striker Kingston Nkhatha would affect Chiefs in the second half of the season. "I think they play as a team, so they will manage just fine. When George Maluleka got injured they dealt with it and showed that they didn't depend on individuals." Sapa /gbm/od/jlb