PSL’s revolving door in full swing

2015-04-05 15:00

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The Absa Premiership coaching revolving door has been in full swing this season with coaches being fired, suspended, recycled and rehired.

Most of the firing happened in the first round, but it seems the second half is meant for rehiring.

This week, Cavin Johnson returned to his former club, Platinum Stars, after spending seven months on the sidelines, and Ernst Middendorp is on the brink of being fired at his second club this season.

Last week, Moroka Swallows hired Craig Rosslee, who was fired by AmaZulu last year.

This has been a crazy season for coaches, with no fewer than 12 losing their jobs or swapping clubs.

Allan Freese’s sacking by Stars means only five coaches are still standing this season.

They are Stuart Baxter (Kaizer Chiefs), Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Gavin Hunt (Bidvest Wits), Roger De Sá (Ajax Cape Town) and Steve Komphela (Maritzburg United).

Johnson was the first casualty of the season when he was fired by SuperSport United in August.

It’s hardly surprising that Middendorp is next in the firing line at Chippa United. He has not won in eight games since joining – losing five and drawing three.

The club announced his suspension on Monday, pending the outcome of an investigation and possible hearing to follow.

Interestingly, most coaches – five to be exact – were fired on the eve of facing Chiefs.

The thought of coming up against Chiefs seems to have proved too daunting for some Premiership coaches, with many of them wiltingahead of facing Amakhosi this season.

Whether it was by design or just pure coincidence, Fani Madida, Middendorp, Vladimir Vermezovic, Zeca Marques and Johnson all got fired or quit just a few days before their clubs played Amakhosi. This resulted in Chiefs being granted the luck of facing caretaker coaches on five occasions – winning three and drawing two of those games.

First they faced Kaitano Tembo after Johnson was fired by SuperSport, then came Madida at Swallows. Eric Tinkler also got his baptism of fire after VV was fired.

Clinton Larsen was next in line at Bloemfontein Celtic and, last month, they came up against Goodman Mazibuko after Madida left the club.

This season, club bosses have not been shy to pull the trigger on coaches when they felt results were not going their way.

Being in charge of a PSL team comes at a heavy price, as their decisions are constantly scrutinised by club supporters who represent an army of armchair football coaches, all with different opinions on tactics, formations and players.

SuperSport were the first to get the ball rolling when they sacked Johnson after only six matches. Polokwane City followed by showing Boebie Solomons the door.

It did not come as a surprise when Kosta Papic decided to leave Chippa early in September.

Free State Stars, AmaZulu and Pirates got rid of Tom Saintfiet, Rosslee and VV, while Steve Barker left University of Pretoria to move to Usuthu.

Swallows also pulled the trigger on Marques while the notorious Chippa surprisingly showed Roger Sikhakhane the door. Celtic were not to be outdone, as Middendorp also vacated his position.

Veteran coach Clive Barker was similarly not spared, as he was sent packing by Mpumalanga Black Aces two weeks ago.

The 70-year-old had been on the brink of the chop for some time, having scraped together just five wins in 22 matches since the start of the season.

But as has always been the case, some of the coaches are already back in the hot seat.

Both Papic and Marques moved to Limpopo, where they are in charge of City and Black Leopards, respectively.

With seven more games to go, the big question is: who will be next in the firing line?

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