FORMER Warriors and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande is set to retire from professional football and be named a brand ambassador for South African club Sekhukhune United.
Sekhukhune announced a 33-man squad on Wednesday with Katsande a notable omission from the list after deciding to officially hang up his boots at the age of 36.
NewZimbabwe.com can confirm the player has come to terms that he can no longer perform to the level he’s upheld for more than a decade in the top-flight of South African football and will serve in a new role at the club.
Katsande joined Sekhukhune United from South African glamour club Kaizer Chiefs at the beginning of last season and played a role in the club retaining its status in the South African Premiership in their maiden season.
His spell at Chiefs lasted ten years where he forged an iconic status with the club, winning two league titles (2012/13, 2014/15), the Nedbank Cup in 2013 and the MTN8 in 2014.
A year later Katsande won Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season, and Fans Player of the Season at the Kaizer Chiefs awards after a remarkable season in which he finished as the club’s second-top scorer with seven goals, despite being a defensive midfielder.
He left Kaizer Chiefs after having clocked the most appearances as a foreigner, reaching 326 appearances to beat the record previously held by compatriot Tinashe Nengomasha.
After joining Sekhukhune United he managed just 18 games and scored once for the side and has now opted to end his career with 341 appearances across all competitions in the South African top-flight.
Known as a midfield work-horse, Willard Katsande began his career playing for local lower division clubs in Zimbabwe such as Frontier Steel (2002–2005), Feruka (2006–2007) and a popular giant killing club from Mutare, called Highway (2007–2009) from where he was recruited to play for Gunners FC for the 2009–10 season.
After starring in Gunners’ CAF Champions League campaign, Katsande joined South African side Ajax Cape Town in 2010, where he spent one season before moving to Kaizer Chiefs.
Katsande also had a successful international football career with the Zimbabwe Warriors, whom he captained to the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon.