Soli­nas fi­nally shown the door

CLUB’S PA­TIENCE RUNS OUT; MABEDI ALSO GONE

The Citizen (KZN) - - FRONT PAGE - Si­b­o­giseni Gumbi

Kaizer Chiefs fired their coach Gio­vanni Soli­nas and his as­sis­tant Pa­trick Mabedi yesterday af­ter­noon, end­ing weeks of spec­u­la­tion re­gard­ing the Ital­ian’s stay at the Na­turena club.

Amakhosi con­firmed the lat­est news through their of­fi­cial Twit­ter page late yesterday.

“Kaizer Chiefs and coach Gio­vanni Soli­nas have mu­tu­ally agreed to an am­i­ca­ble ter­mi­na­tion of his con­tract with im­me­di­ate ef­fect,” the club said. Soli­nas’ fu­ture has been a sub­ject of spec­u­la­tion for the past few weeks af­ter the Chiefs sup­port­ers voiced their dis­sat­is­fac­tion with how things were go­ing since he took over in Au­gust.

The club how­ever hadn’t clar­i­fied what will hap­pen with the team in the in­terim as they also re­leased Soli­nas’ as­sis­tant Pa­trick Mabedi who had been with the club for close to two years, hav­ing been brought in as for­mer coach Steve Kom­phela’s sec­ond-in-com­mand.

“As­sis­tant coach Pa­trick Mabedi’s con­tract has also been ter­mi­nated. We would like to ex­press our grat­i­tude to him for all the ef­forts dur­ing his time at Kaizer Chiefs and wish him well (in his fu­ture),” read the tweet.

It was un­clear why Mabedi had also been fired but spec­u­la­tion was rife that the new coach had asked to come with his own sup­port staff and the for­mer Chiefs de­fender had to be re­leased.

A num­ber of coaches have been ru­moured to be on the club’s wanted list to re­place Soli­nas in­clud­ing Mamelodi Sun­downs as­sis­tant coach Man­qoba Mngqithi but French­man Pa­trice Cateron looks to be the favourite. Cateron was the pre­ferred choice for Chiefs but they lost out on him when Egyp­tian gi­ants Al-Ahly poached him with a big money of­fer. He has since been re­leased by them.

In 22 games – in­clud­ing cup and league games – un­der Soli­nas, Chiefs won eight, drew seven and lost seven. But what soured Soli­nas’ stay at Na­turena was his in­abil­ity to avoid con­sec­u­tive de­feats to their arch-ri­vals Or­lando Pi­rates who won 2-1 in a league and cup game in late Oc­to­ber and early Novem­ber.

Soli­nas was a sur­prise hir­ing by Chiefs and Kaizer Mo­taung ad­mit­ted in an in­ter­view ear­lier this sea­son that the Ital­ian had not been their pre­ferred can­di­date but was the only one avail­able to start im­me­di­ately when they were con­duct­ing in­ter­views.

The Satur­day Cit­i­zen un­der­stands that Chiefs will also con­duct a mas­sive over­haul of the play­ing staff in Jan­uary when the trans­fer win­dow opens and new play­ers will be brought in.

Pic­ture: Back­pagepix

GIO­VANNI SOLI­NAS

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