Long-term coaches are on the ball

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

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.

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