Long-term coaches are on the ball
Eight coaches finished the season with the clubs they started the season with.
They are Pitso Mosimane, Gavin Hunt, Cavin Johnson, Muhsin Ertuğral, Steve Komphela, Eric Tinkler, Roger De Sá and, of course, Jomo Sono.
Out of all the coaches who started last season with their clubs, only two finished outside the top-eight bracket – Sono and De Sá.
If anything, last season once again proved that stability is needed to run successful clubs as the sides that finished in the top five all had coaches from the beginning to the end.
Jomo Cosmos finished bottom of the log and were relegated back to the National First Division after only one season in the Absa Premiership.
In his defence, De Sá could argue that his side never recovered from the hangover of winning the MTN8 title earlier in the season, hence their struggle in the league campaign.
Apart from Mosimane winning the league championship, other top performers were Dan Malesela and Stuart Baxter.
Hunt propelled Bidvest Wits to their first second-place finish in the PSL table, which earned them a spot in the CAF Champions League.
The Students also amassed their biggest points haul, 57.
Johnson steered Platinum Stars to third on the table and also the CAF Confederation Cup next year, while Ertuğral’s Mpumalanga Black Aces made history when they set a new club record by finishing fourth on the log for the first time in the PSL era.
Despite reaching two cup finals – MTN8 and Telkom Knockout, both of which he lost – Komphela didn’t have a very good season in Kaizer Chiefs’ colours, judging where the defending league champions finished – fifth.
But the latter part of the season belonged to both Malesela and Baxter, who joined midway through the season.
Malesela worked wonders at Chippa United as he finished sixth on the log, in his maiden coaching job in the Absa Premiership.
This was a remarkable feat for someone without Absa Premiership experience. Brought in as an assistant to Roger Sikhakhane, Malesela was thrown into the deep end immediately after the former was placed on suspension and later fired.
The former FC Cape Town mentor swam with the sharks and survived the storms that came with the job.
At the end, he succeeded where many had failed by guiding the Chilli Boys to their best finish in the top league.
Under the former Orlando Pirates skipper, Chippa played an entertaining brand of football that was easy on the eye and earned himself many plaudits.
Of the 20 games he was in charge of, he won nine, lost six and played only five draws.
The only blot in his glittering performance must be the loss to Baroka FC in the Nedbank Cup last 32.
When Baxter arrived at SuperSport, he inherited a side that was struggling to get results.
Few games into his tenure the Englishman managed to turn the tide and things worked in his favour.
He went on to lift the Nedbank Cup, which came with a first prize of R7 million and also a passage to next year’s CAF Confederation Cup.
Baxter won 11 of the 20 games he was in charge of, drawing five and losing only four.