Chris Katongo - Fact File

Katongo Loving Life Under Hunt

Despite having had a poor stint with Golden Arrows last season, Christopher Katongo had a few suitors interested in his services, with Bidvest Wits eventually winning the race. The Zambian international comes as a valuable addition to Gavin Hunt`s frontline, but is up against stiff competition. Chris explains the latest development in his career.

Personal Information
Full names: Christopher Katongo
Date of birth: 1 August 1982
Place of birth: Mufulira, Zambia
Nickname: Tsunami
Position: Striker
Jersey no: 11
Club: Bidvest Wits
Previous Clubs: Butondo West Tigers, Kalulushi Modern Stars, Green Buffaloes (All Zambia), Jomo Cosmos, Brondby IF (Denmark), Arminia Bielefeld (Germany), Skoda Xanthi, Henan Construction (both China) and Golden Arrows
Honours: 2006/07 PSL golden boot winner with Jomo Cosmos, 2012 AFCON winner, 87 Zambia national team caps.

Hi Tsunami, you have joined Bidvest Wits out of the Blue, after being linked with a few other clubs. How did the deal unfold?
I think it happened because they showed more interest and put things on the table. I had been talking to them for two to three weeks. I think they wanted players so I guess I was what they were looking for. Many players left the club and they needed replacements. Definitely, it’s Gavin Hunt who wanted me because he likes my style of play. I appreciate when a coach likes your style of play because it means you will do well on the field. He is the one on the ground deciding the tactics. I told myself to give this team a chance and they are professional. I’m happy to be here. Everything here is done professionally, which is good, and the training ground is fantastic. Obviously my goal was to move to Europe, but it’s okay, for me its fine.

What does it say that the team wanted to sign you, despite the fact that you didn’t have a good season with Golden Arrows last season?
No, I think it’s a different perspective in terms of how the fans look at it. The fans are expecting to see goals from a striker, I’m a forward, I can play on the right and I can play on the left. I can play anyhow, depending on the system. For me, the contribution to the team is more important than what the fans expect. Of course they want to see goals. In modern football, you don’t only expect strikers to score goals, as for not scoring for Arrows last season, you know… it’s a long story.

Before signing for Wits, there was talk that you would be joining Chippa United.
Honestly, there were three games left in the season and I spoke to one of the club officials. We just spoke at the airport when we went to play Kaizer Chiefs, but we didn’t agree on terms, since then I have never spoken to anybody. Even when I was in Zambia after playing a friendly match against Japan, I never spoke to the officials.

And with Orlando Pirates? What happened?
Yes, Pirates were speaking to my agent. He told me that Pirates wanted me, but they didn`t put anything on the table. I don’t think the coach liked my style of play. The first thing is to respect the coach. For example, Gavin and I talk and he likes my style of play. What I also like about Gavin is that he doesn’t talk about age, but about what you can contribute on the pitch. That’s the best thing about him. Age is just a number, like Muhsin Etugral once said, and experience matters. Gavin has balanced the team with young and experienced players. Even in his starting line-up, he’s going to make sure there’s the right balance in the team, there will be four or five young players and six experienced players.

It’s been great, Tsunami, thank you.
Thanks my brother.