Chiefs coach ready to go out with a bang

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

Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Kom­phela will not get a bet­ter chance to win over club sup­port­ers than lift­ing the Ned­bank Cup. This will still not be enough to pro­long his stay with Amakhosi, but will go a long way to bring smiles to Chiefs sup­port­ers’ faces. Kom­phela will want to go out with a bang and leave the sup­port­ers with some­thing to cher­ish.

With his fu­ture al­ready de­cided fol­low­ing in­dif­fer­ent re­sults, the Ned­bank Cup af­fords Kom­phela an op­por­tu­nity to sal­vage some­thing for the sea­son.

Chiefs wel­come Free State Stars at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium on Satur­day evening, with a spot in the fi­nal up for grabs. This will be the second meet­ing be­tween the two sides in a fort­night. Chiefs nar­rowly beat Stars in their league en­counter last week as Teenage Hadebe’s in­jury-time header sep­a­rated the two teams. How­ever, it must be pointed out that Stars de­feated Chiefs at the same venue in the Telkom Knock­out Cup quar­ter­fi­nals two sea­sons ago. Satur­day’s clash will be more of a grudge game as Stars want to avenge last week’s de­feat. What makes it even more in­ter­est­ing is that Stars coach Luc Ey­mael has been linked with a pos­si­ble move to Chiefs. De­spite cat­e­gor­i­cally deny­ing this ru­mour, Ey­mael has a point to prove to his po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers and beat­ing Chiefs will en­hance his chances of re­plac­ing Kom­phela.

How­ever, Kom­phela would not want to go down to Ey­mael as this would prove the Bel­gian is the bet­ter coach.

Hav­ing al­ready beaten Stars, al­beit with­out Ey­mael on the bench as he was sus­pended, Chiefs will want to show the vic­tory was no fluke.

Chiefs play­ers have al­ready said they want to win this tro­phy. They are also play­ing for their con­tracts fol­low­ing the club’s man­age­ment team say­ing that heads will roll at the end of the sea­son.

The likes of Leonardo Cas­tro and Ryan Moon will have to en­sure they come to the party to help Chiefs reach the fi­nal.

Ey­mael has trans­formed Stars since he joined them at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, and they are now a for­mi­da­ble side. They have also done well in the league, with a top-four fin­ish a se­ri­ous pos­si­bil­ity.

Reach­ing the fi­nal of the Ned­bank Cup will be an added bonus for them and a great achieve­ment. With the ex­pe­ri­ence of Rooi Ma­hamutsa, Paulus Masehe and Pa­trick Phung­wayo, Stars have a chance of go­ing all the way to the fi­nal.

Clashes be­tween these two sides have never been easy to pre­dict.

PHOTO: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

HEIGHT­ENED TEN­SION Leonardo Cas­tro is un­der pres­sure to de­liver for Kaizer Chiefs

PHOTO: CHRIS RICCO / BACKPAGEPIX

IM­PRES­SIVE Luc Ey­mael has done well for Free State Stars

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