Why player/coach Kurt Lentjies was let go despite rescuing Chippa from relegation

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Kurt Lentjies guided Chippa United to safety last season but parted ways with the club. Photo: Philip Maeta / Gallo Images
Kurt Lentjies guided Chippa United to safety last season but parted ways with the club. Photo: Philip Maeta / Gallo Images


Chippa United owner Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi has shed some light on why Kurt Lentjies was relieved of his coaching duties, saying the former player refused to accept an offer to work with an assistant coach of the club’s choice.

Mpengesi revealed: 

Kurt’s departure was something we never planned. We were hoping to continue with Kurt but then there was some disagreement.

Mpengesi was speaking in Deberha Village in Engcobo in the Eastern Cape, where the club unveiled Chippa’s new players and handed over a fully furnished house to a deserving family.

Lentjies became player/coach after head coach Gavin Hunt was suspended following a poor start to the season. After taking over in November last year, helped Chippa survive relegation by a whisker and eventually led Chippa to an 11th finish in the DStv Premiership.

READ: Chippa’s notorious coaching revolving door spits out Kurt Lentjies

Lentjies was placed on special leave before parting ways with the club. He has since been replaced by Daine Klate, another former Chippa player.

“We were offering him [Lentjies] an experienced assistant coach as a club. He didn’t want that,” said Mpengesi.

“Also we were not agreeing in terms of which players to sign. He was a player who still had a contract which ended at the end of the season.

“So when we could not agree on a lot of things, a decision was made to say let us bring in Klate, who is highly qualified by the way. Far more qualified than Kurt.

Kurt was only at an entry level [in terms of coaching badges]. I’ll make an example, it is like taking a qualified Grade R teacher and you make him teach at university. That was the scenario.

Chippa United unveiled 16 new players as they bolster their squad ahead of the 2022/23 season, with former Orlando Pirates defender Justice Chabalala and erstwhile Golden Arrows captain Matome Mathiane the headline signings on a list of relatively inexperienced youngsters.

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