Which coach will get the accolades?

2012-04-28 18:55

It is not surprising that after 423 Absa Premiership games so far this season, only four coaches have emerged as favourites to walk away with the coach of the season award.

This has been a roller coaster of a season as three teams – Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Platinum Stars – will finish the campaign in the hands of caretaker coaches.

But the big question is who the accolades will go to next month.

The trend in the past four seasons was that whoever won the league title got the nod, as was the case with former Pirates coach Rudi Krol and SuperSport United’s Gavin Hunt (three times).

Mamelodi Sundowns’ Johan Neeskens has acquainted himself well in his first season in the PSL.

Another serious contender is Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela after he moulded the less-fancied Ea Lla Koto into a serious title contender at one point in the race.

Komphela has taken Stars to the top half of the table and the Free State outfit are still the dark horses to take the title.

In fact, Stars would have been at the summit of the log had it not been for some dubious officiating earlier in the season.

Stars were robbed of three points in the first game against SuperSport United.

Again they were hard done by poor officiating when their legitimate goal was disallowed against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Multiple championship-winning coach Gordon Igesund is also among the contenders. Igesund transformed Moroka Swallows from being no-hopers to serious title contenders this season.

Even though he did not start the season with AmaZulu, Roger Palmgren also deserves a special mention
after his heroics with Usuthu, who have reached the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup and are also in the coveted top eight.

Interestingly, all three KwaZulu-Natal teams – AmaZulu, Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United – have parted ways with the coaches who started the season at the helm.

A total of seven coaches have been fired this season with Owen da Gama still suspended by Platinum

Usuthu got rid of Manqoba Mngqithi after only five games in charge in September, followed by Arrows, who showed Ernst Middendorp the door also in the same month. German-born Middendorp then resurfaced at Maritzburg United, replacing Ian Palmer.

Black Leopards also replaced Sunday Chidzambwa and reunited with their former mentor Vladislav Heric.

But the shocker was the departure of Julio Leal from Pirates after he won two trophies – the MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout – early in the season.

The relationship between some of the senior players at Chiefs and Vladimir Vermezovic was so irreparable that the Serbian native’s departure from Naturena last week did not come as a surprise.

Santos also relieved Boebie Solomons of his duties.

Last week the Cape side announced former Mozambique national team mentor Mart Nooij as their coach.

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