KINGSTON Nkhatha returns to a venue he is familiar with on Tuesday night, but will do so wearing a blue and white shirt instead of the famous gold and black.

\n

Kingston Nkhatha of SuperSport United during the Absa Premiership match against Free State Stars at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria last Wednesday. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

\n

It will be the second time the Zimbabwean officially makes his way onto the pitch as a SuperSport United player following his acrimonious parting with Kaizer Chiefs in the transfer window last month. Tuesday night’s appearance, however, is the one that perhaps many will remember.

\n

The last time Nkhatha played at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, an alternative home ground for Chiefs, he scored with a cheeky back heel and turned provider for Amakhosi’s second goal in a 2-1 victory over Free State Stars during their December 16 Absa Premier League clash.

\n

Nkhatha had silenced the boo-boys and critics then to deservedly walk away with the man-of-the-match award.

\n

You would have thought he was at Chiefs to stay following those heroics. But on Tuesday night, the burly striker comes up against his former employers and, most importantly, Stuart Baxter — the one man who stood by him, never questioned his commitment, work rate and ability to influence a match in Amakhosi’s favour when a section of the club’s supporters felt he was not worth his salt.

\n

The Englishman was so incensed by the boo brigade that he threatened to quit coaching the Glamour Boys mid-season. It was Nkhatha, rather, who walked out.

\n

“We talked about everything that was happening, including my move to SuperSport,” the striker said about Baxter after his move to Pretoria was confirmed last month. “He said to me that life goes on, and that he understands I had to make a decision for my future.

\n

“He said that if I felt there was a future here and not there, he, too, would have done the same.”

\n

The official line is that Chiefs offered Nkhatha a one-year extension to his contract, while SuperSport, who had expected the striker at the end of the season after he signed a pre-contract, had lured him with a long-term deal. It is too early to say, but life without their target man got off to a bumpy start for Amakhosi.

\n

While he scored five minutes into his debut for Matsatsantsa, coincidentally against Free State Stars at the Lucas Moripe Stadium last Wednesday, Chiefs huffed and puffed to a goalless draw away to Bloemfontein Celtic, a result that cut down their lead at the top to 13 points.

\n

Amakhosi again displayed a flat performance to beat lowly Botswana side Township Rollers in their opening Caf Champions League clash at the weekend.

\n

Nkhatha will not be crowned a league champion in May (his new club trails the log leaders by 23 points) should Chiefs go on to clinch the title, but can he help SuperSport have a say in where the trophy lands at the end of the season?