Tips to get Chilli Boys on fire

2014-05-04 15:00

In 2011, Chippa United became the first team to win back-to-back promotions from the Vodacom Second Division through to the National First Division (NFD) and then on to the promised land of the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

But the ChilliBoys were more cold than hot in their debut season in the elite league because of coaching instability, making an immediate return to the NFD. Despite continuing their revolving-door policy with their coaches, they are set to reclaim their status as a PSL team next season.

In January, owner Chippa Mpengesi sacked coach Ian Palmer and hired journeyman Serb Vladislav Heric, who has performed a miracle.

But it is a two-card trick that has been proven to be unsuccessful at the PSL level. In their short league stint, Chippa featured no fewer than five coaches and paid a heavy price: relegation.

They regrouped but will have to avoid getting the unwanted “yo-yo” tag that belongs to perennial strugglers Jomo Cosmos. United play neighbours Santos, who are fighting for a spot in the play-offs, this afternoon.

Here are five survival tips for Chippa in the PSL jungle:

Keep calm and aim for long-term success

Short-sightedness has been the downfall of many new Premiership clubs. Hopefully, Mpengesi has learnt from his previous mistakes of unnecessary coaching rotation and has planned for the long term.

Quality over quantity

Mpengesi must not sign rejects but players who will add value to the team. Unlike BlackAces, many of whose additions have failed to meet the required standard.

Philippi Stadium must become a fortress 

To take a leaf from Seven Stars’ book in the late 1990s, all games except for Category A ones should be hosted at the intimidating Philippi Stadium. People there identify with and have embraced the team.

Chippa seem to be the only quintessential township team in the PSL.

Less interference

History will always judge club bosses who interfere in technical matters as they have little or no expertise. Their influence, or rather interference, works to the detriment of the team. Stick to what you know – administering the team. Peter Koutroulis has done an excellent job as CEO and has left Mpengesi to manage funds.

Don’t lose composure

Talk only when it’s absolutely necessary. Staying in the PSL is hard work but getting there is even harder. Sometimes, picking fights makes one lose focus on the job at hand. Channel all efforts towards stabilising the team and making sure Chippa succeed on the field.

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