United confirm Komphela will stay

2014-06-19 00:00

MARITZBURG United confirmed publicly for the first time yesterday that Steve Komphela will stay on as head coach for the 2014/15 season.

The club broke the news in the afternoon on their website after Komphela’s agent Tim Sukazi told The Witness on June 13 that his client would remain in charge.

But despite Sukazi’s reassurance, there was a need for a lengthy meeting between Komphela and chairperson Farouk Kadodia yesterday, when the side were due to begin pre-season training.

The meeting had gone well, and Kadodia — who has been overseas until this week — said yesterday evening that the coaching issue was now over.

“I had been away for 12 days. We needed a meeting to clear out any fears or concerns that Steve might have had,” said the chairperson. “There has been a lot of speculation. A lot of it has been ridiculous. Steve will take training as we start our pre-season tomorrow.”

Komphela had been made an offer from newly promoted Chippa United — as was confirmed by Chippa, United and Sukazi — and he was also linked with a technical position at Safa.

Komphela, whose reputation as one of the country’s finest local coaches makes him a popular public figure, will turn his attention straight to the transfer market and his need to stock up ahead of the new campaign.

The club have also hosted trials throughout the province, and the shortlisted players will be viewed in the coming weeks.

Komphela himself was not reached for comment.

There is also the lingering uncertainty of a potential move to Port Elizabeth.

That the relocation has not yet been confirmed might suggest that it is now too late for it to materialise, but Kadodia said yesterday that a decision would only be made over the next couple of days.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Port Elizabeth has confirmed the offer, but not whether or not the move will happen. In 2012 negotiations between the club and the municipality broke down over a potential relocation.

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