Steve wants Chiefs to ‘live in the mo­ment’

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - NJAB­ULO NGIDI

STEVE Kom­phela’s bald head hides a se­cret that the beard and mous­tache he is grow­ing gives away. The two years the 50-yearold has spent in charge of Kaizer Chiefs have been so tax­ing on him that Kom­phela has now quickly de­vel­oped grey hair.

“It’s a sign of wis­dom,” he chuck­led. “You must check peo­ple who’ve gone through strug­gles, one way or the other they have to wear salt and pep­per.”

While Kom­phela “wears salt and pep­per”, he is yet to wear a win­ners’ medal at a club syn­ony­mous with suc­cess in knock­out com­pe­ti­tions. That strug­gle to bring tro­phies to Na­turena has put him at odds with the club’s fans who have called for his head a num­ber of times. The two-sea­son bar­ren run un­der his ten­ure makes it vi­tal for Chiefs to not only start the next cam­paign on a pos­i­tive note but also fin­ish with some form of sil­ver­ware.

The MTN8 is the club’s first chance to end that dry spell. Amakhosi host Su­perS­port United at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium on Sat­ur­day. Kom­phela’s big­gest chal­lenge will be to man­age the play­ers’ anx­i­ety to win so that it doesn’t get the bet­ter of them, es­pe­cially start­ing against the team that knocked them out of the Ned­bank Cup last sea­son led by a coach, Eric Tin­kler, whose Cape Town City elim­i­nated Amakhosi in the first round of the MTN8 in the pre­vi­ous cam­paign.

“You need to stay very calm and live in the mo­ment,” Kom­phela said. “Your emo­tions get car­ried by what you an­tic­i­pate, and what you an­tic­i­pate is not what you are go­ing through. For us, it is im­por­tant to live in the mo­ment. You can’t think about the cup fi­nal be­fore you play the first game. If you have prob­lems of pay­ing your debts 30 days to come, does that mean from now and the next 29 days you won’t live? No. You have to live your life be­cause one way or the other, the break­through will come.” Kom­phela also be­lieves that the club has reached a break­through in their dis­cus­sions with Ge­orge Lebese. The Chiefs’ mid­fielder has been linked with a move to Mamelodi Sun­downs, sparked by his dec­la­ra­tion on so­cial me­dia that he just wants to play re­gard­less of which shirt he does it wear­ing. His ab­sence in the club’s pre-sea­son friendlies has also fu­elled spec­u­la­tion that he could be leav­ing Amakhosi.

“Ge­orge is still with us,” Kom­phela said. “Not un­less there is some­thing that you know that I don’t. He will be at train­ing to­mor­row (to­day). He is com­mit­ted to the team. There are times when we have con­ver­sa­tions with Ge­orge and ask our­selves, where is all of this com­ing from?

“But un­der­stand­ing the na­ture of the busi­ness, the na­ture of per­spec­tive and opin­ions, you can’t stop peo­ple from say­ing things that when you hear, you won­der where are they com­ing from. Some­times it pains me be­cause as a per­son I love foot­ball play­ers. I love peo­ple I work with be­cause be­fore you lead them, you must love them. Now some­times when cer­tain things come, I don’t re­act to those things but I go straight to the per­son in­volved to seek clar­ity.”

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