Steve Kom­phela has big shoes to fill at one of Africa’s big­gest clubs, writes

New coach ready for Amakhosi Ti­mothy Molobi

CityPress - - Sport -

Chiefs sup­port­ers have wel­comed the re­cent ap­point­ment of Steve Kom­phela as the club’s new coach.

But with South African club bosses be­ing no­to­ri­ous for their trig­ger-happy dis­missal of coaches, Kom­phela knows that fill­ing Stu­art Bax­ter’s big shoes will not be easy.

Chiefs boss Kaizer Mo­taung ex­plained that Kom­phela had signed a three-year deal. He did point out that the con­tract was not the de­ter­min­ing fac­tor of how long Kom­phela would ac­tu­ally stay with the club.

The Amakhosi chief said they would work to­gether as long as there was a will­ing­ness from both par­ties.

How­ever, the eter­nally op­ti­mistic Kom­phela has taken this com­ment in a pos­i­tive light, say­ing he would like to add to the three years – not re­duce it.

Kom­phela said he was fully aware of the daunt­ing task that awaited him at “ar­guably one of the big­gest clubs in Africa”.

In­ter­est­ingly, Kom­phela’s first of­fi­cial game will be against his pre­vi­ous club Mar­itzburg United in the MTN8 quar­ter­fi­nals in the first week of Au­gust. He is rel­ish­ing the prospect of meet­ing his for­mer side. “It would be in­ter­est­ing com­ing up against the team I took to the top eight. They know me and I know them in and out and what they are ca­pa­ble of,” he said.

Kom­phela is also acutely aware of the ex­pec­ta­tions of Chiefs fol­low­ers.

“It’s a pres­sure cooker, start­ing with the Car­ling Cup, be­cause sup­port­ers want to win ev­ery­thing. More­over, they ex­pect us to do well, as we are the de­fend­ing MTN8 cham­pi­ons.” He said there was no need to change too much in the Chiefs set-up. “One or two tweaks here and there will do. Un­for­tu­nately they have lost some per­son­nel, which means we will have to find re­place­ments, but we will do well.”

Kom­phela ad­mit­ted that Bax­ter had set a very high stan­dard and would be a tough act to fol­low – win­ning two league ti­tles and two cup com­pe­ti­tions (the MTN8 and Ned­bank Cup) in the three sea­sons the English­man had spent at Amakhosi.

Kom­phela is the first lo­cal coach to lead the mighty Amakhosi on a per­ma­nent ba­sis since the Premier Soc­cer League was formed in 1996.

His de­trac­tors have al­ready drawn their dag­gers, say­ing there’s no way he will suc­ceed at Chiefs.

The pres­sure will be on the for­mer Bafana Bafana cap­tain to prove his crit­ics wrong.

PHOTO: DUIF DU TOIT / GALLO IM­AGES PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES PHOTO: RICHARD HUG­GARD / GALLO IM­AGES PHOTO: THEMBA MAKO­FANE

WANTED MAN Cole Alexan­der and Polok­wane City may soon part ways RE­UNITED Brian Baloyi is ex­pected to re­join Chiefs as goal­keeper coach IN DE­MAND Daniel Car­doso has re­port­edly signed with Chiefs READY TO ROLL Kaizer Chiefs’ new coach Steve Kom­phela is fully aware of the chal­lenges that await him

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