Baxter named Chiefs coach

2012-05-08 00:00

IT may not be the most popular choice for some of the club’s diehard supporters, but weeks of rumors came to fruition yesterday when Englishman Stuart Baxter was named the new head coach of Kaizer Chiefs.

The club confirmed yesterday that Baxter, who coached Bafana Bafana in 2004 and 2005, signed a two-year contract and will take over the reins from caretaker coaches Ace Khuse and Doctor Khumalo.

Baxter met the Chiefs board yesterday before being taken on a tour of the club’s facilities in Soweto.

Said executive chairperson Kaizer Motaung: “It’s a great pleasure to announce Stuart Baxter as the new Kaizer Chiefs coach. He will fit in well into our strategy going forward because of his great wealth of knowledge at the lub, national team and at an International level.

“His expertise as far as mentoring coaches as a coaching instructor will assist us in developing our own coaches and will also help a great deal in developing our youth academy.”

The acquisition of Baxter is the first step in the Chiefs’s strategy to freshen up their technical team ahead of next season. According to a statement released by the club, there will be further appointments announced this week.

Baxter, who is of Scottish and English descent, has travelled the globe and is known for his keen interest in working under different cultural climates.

He has an extensive playing history as a midfielder for teams in Scotland, Australia, Sweden, the United States and England.

He has managed clubs in Norway, Portugal, Japan and Sweden where he was credited for guiding AIK to the Champions League. His most recent post was as an advisor to Swedish AIK’s manager, Andreas Alm.

“I’m very happy to be taking up this challenging but exciting project at Kaizer Chiefs,” Baxter said.

At national level, Baxter coached the England U19 side, Bafana and the Finnish national team.

The 58-year-old left the Finns two years ago, and has not coached any side since.

Chiefs are in sixth place in the PSL and nine points off log leaders Orlando Pirates and effectively out of the title race, though the Amakhosi do have a game in hand over the five teams above them in the standings.

Baxter replaces Serb Vladimir Vermezovic, who was sacked last month after a string of poor results.

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