Amakhosi hire local coach

2015-06-18 06:00
PHOTO: gallo images 

Steve Komphela has joined Kaizer Chiefs as their head coach from Maritzburg United. (NE)

PHOTO: gallo images Steve Komphela has joined Kaizer Chiefs as their head coach from Maritzburg United. (NE)

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KAIZER Chiefs yesterday confirmed the appointment of Steve Komphela as their head coach.

The former Bafana Bafana captain (47) replaces Englishman Stuart Baxter and becomes the first local coach of the Glamour Boys since Doctor Khumalo and Ace Khuse shared the position in the 2002/3 season.

Komphela had resigned as Maritzburg United on Friday, much to the disappointment of the club, and has been given three-year deal at Naturena.

“We needed to plug the gap with the season about to commence. We didn’t have much time, but we have answered the call,” Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung said.

“I want to take this opportunity to welcome him. He was here before as a player.

“He has paid his dues and he deserves the kind of platform we’re going to give him at Chiefs. We wish him all the best; may he enjoy this journey.”

Komphela was philosophical in his first public appearance as Chiefs boss.

“This is quite scary. From the bottom of my heart I wish to thank the chairman a lot,” he said,

“The challenge is immense ... I have to acknowledge the success of the previous season ... it was unbelievable.

“As a local boy I am coming into a team that I believe is the best team in Africa.

“This is a unique opportunity. It’s historic and I’m very excited.

“This is the most difficult decision I’ve ever taken, the bravest but also the rightest.”

Komphela revealed that contact with the club had begun as early as 2009, when Motaung said that he would be monitoring the coach’s progress in the hopes of one day bringing him to Chiefs.

Komphela resignation from his Maritzburg United coaching last week fuelled talk of a possible move to Kaizer Chiefs.

The Team of Choice released a statement, written by club chairman Farook Kadodia, confirming the news on Monday.

“There has been a lot of speculation and rumours in South African media about Maritzburg United head coach Steve Komphela ever since he joined the club.

“Since his arrival here one and a half seasons ago, he has been linked to at least three clubs and the National Team,” the statement read. We have always maintained our calm and never entertained any of the rumours and said the only time we would make a statement would be when there was a change in the status quo.

“On Friday the 12th of June 2015, the chairman of Maritzburg United FC, received a letter of resignation from Steve Komphela as head coach of the club. We were perplexed and disappointed as we had a very good and successful season with him in charge, and were looking forward to an even better season in his last year of contract.

“In terms of the contractual obligations, the coach has to serve notice of one calendar month, which means he can only be released on the 30th of July 2015. However, the club is in talks with his business manager to try and overcome this challenge.

“In the short time that Steve was here, he has produced the best results in the history of the club, and we are grateful for that.

“We do believe that with the work ethic that he possesses, he will rise to the challenges he will face in his new job. We wish Steve Komphela well for the future.

“The process of finding his replacement has begun, and a statement will be released in due course.”

While Maritzburg start looking for a new coach, pre-season training must continue, hence the decision to turn to Ncikazi.

“We have just returned to pre-season training. The coach has just resigned and we still need to sit down as management and map the way forward,” operations manager Quinton Jetto tells KickOff.com

– Sport24 and KickOff.com

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