VV’s gone, nothing changes

2012-04-13 00:00

KAIZER Chiefs yesterday ended months of media speculation by parting ways with long-serving coach Vladimir Vermezovic.

Vermezovic had been under pressure from the club’s fans and football pundits for most of the current campaign after guiding the Soweto giants to fourth place in the league, where they are six points behind log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, though they do have a game in hand.

According to the club’s manager Bobby Motaung, Vermezovic’s axing was a result of a decision that was taken not to renew the Serb’s contract, which is set to expire at the end of the season.

“This decision was taken for the comfort of everybody,” Motaung told The Witness yesterday.

“We have now given ourselves time to appoint a new coach before the beginning of next season and, likewise, the coach now has some time to look for a new club.”

Motaung confirmed that the club’s assistant coach and former midfield great Ace Khuse would take over the reins for the remainder of the season.

Khuse will be assisted by another of Chiefs’ midfield legends, Doctor Khumalo and Arthur Zwane.

In 2002, Khuse and Khumalo were made caretaker coaches of Amakhosi before guiding the side through a 12-match unbeaten run.

Motaung said: “These guys have been involved at the club for a long time and we have full faith in them.

“The coach has gone, but nothing else changes, we still have the same setup and will go about things the same way.”

Motaung stressed that the biggest challenge for Chiefs’ latest management team would be to bring about an element of consistency.

“We are still challenging for the league, but there are no guarantees that we will win it,” he said.

Khuse and his assistants will not have to wait long before they are tested. Chiefs are up against Free State Stars tomorrow in a Nedbank Cup quarter-final outing at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane — a competition that Motaung says is very important for the club.

He said: “We treat the league and the cup with equal importance.”

With Vermezovic now out of job, there has been speculation linking him with a move to SuperSport United, but Motaung says this had nothing to do with the board’s decision.

“There will always be speculation,” he said. “We also need to make it very clear that we have not spoken to any other coaches at all.”

Motaung added that the process of appointing a new coach would begin immediately, but that no decisions would be made until after the completion of the season.

Vermezovic joined Amakhosi in 2009 and guided the side to two third-placed finished in the PSL.

His only major achievement was a Telkom Knockout triumph in 2010.

• sport@witness.co.za

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