Komphela stays, but where will United be?

2014-06-13 00:00

MARITZBURG United, still without a confirmed home venue for next season, are due to start pre-season training on Monday. The issue over a proposed move to Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium remains up in the air, but there was good news yesterday when it was confirmed that Steve Komphela will stay on as Team of Choice coach when the new season kicks off.

Komphela’s agent, Tim Sukazi, spoke to The Witness yesterday, saying that there were “no issues” with Maritzburg.

“He is Maritzburg’s coach and he will be there at the start of the season,” Sukazi said.

The story dates back a month, when reports revealed that newly promoted Chippa United had made Komphela a lucrative offer to join them ahead of the 2014/15 season. Chippa were vocal on the matter, even going so far as to suggest that the deal was done. But Maritzburg, though acknowledging that an offer had been made for their boss, were defiant and refused to let go of Komphela without a fight.

Chippa then backtracked by hiring former Maritzburg mentor Kosta Papic, extinguishing the Komphela rumours. But, in the meantime, Maritzburg had offered Komphela an improved deal in attempt to keep him at the club and that process had run into a few stumbling blocks, meaning that Komphela’s future at the club remained uncertain despite him not joining Chippa.

Sukazi yesterday also poured cold water on another rumour that suggested Komphela was being targeted by Safa as a potential member of their technical team.

“There has certainly been no contact from Safa,” Sukazi said.

With Maritzburg chairperson Farouk Kadodia out of the country until next week, a final decision on PE can only be made when he returns. But with each passing day without confirmation on the matter it seems that PSL football will stay in Maritzburg for at least another season.

Turning his attention to Komphela, United’s commercial manager Younus Kadodia was happy to finally have a resolution.

“We have always maintained that Steve is our coach and we are delighted that the process of finalising his new contract has been completed,” he said. “It has been a difficult time for the club, but it is an advantage that we go into the new season with somebody who has been working with the club as opposed to somebody new.”

Kadodia added that contact with Komphela had been scarce, but that he hoped to engage with the coach “as soon as possible”. The revised contract will keep Komphela at Harry Gwala — or Nelson Mandela Bay — Stadium for another two years.

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