Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela is looking at all the factors in which the Sowetan giants can be successful in the upcoming season.
The Amakhosi squad returned to Naturena for pre-season training following a lengthy break as they look to improve on an underwhelming 2015/16 campaign.
Meanwhile, the former Maritzburg United coach bolstered his side with eight new recruits: Sibusiso Khumalo, Enocent Mkhabela, Edmore Chirambadare, Michelle Katsvairo, Zambian Lewis Macha, Keagan Buchanan, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Emmanuel Letlotlo, who was promoted from Chiefs’ soccer academy.
“We returned from the off-season a fortnight ago,” said Komphela on the club's website.
“We started pre-season with the routine testing and medicals. The work to be ready for the new season has begun.
“The new players have been introduced and warmly received by the team,” comments Komphela on the new signees.
Chiefs have also roped in new members for their technical team as assistant coach John Paintsil replaced Doctor Khumalo, goalkeeper coach Alexandre Revoredo and physical trainer Marco Munhoz.
“As you can see,” Komphela says, while pointing with his hand towards the training ground, “everybody is showing the right energy. Work has begun and we are all aware of the mammoth task ahead of us.”
“We have to manage the process of integrating the new members in the team.
“There is also the matter of bringing the players to the same level of readiness before the new season starts.”
Komphela is aware that some of his players did not enjoy a full off-season break due to CAF commitments: “We have to take it slow with players like Itumeleng Khune, Erick Mathoho and Ramahlwe Mphahlele, who were in action for Bafana Bafana.”
The coach added that Willard Katsande also got a few more days to rest, as he was in full action with the Zimbabwean national team.
“The pre-season camp will give us an opportunity to gel as a team,” continues Komphela, who reveals that the squad will embark on a ten-day camp in Mpumalanga.
“There were also some players that still carried an injury from last season. We had to cater for that in the preparation processes. Buchanan and Siphiwe Tshabalala are recovering from an assortment of injuries. The medical team will provide the report and guide us on any other injury concerns.”
The Amakhosi will be in action in the highly anticipated Carling Black Label Champions Cup on Saturday, 30 July. This flagship pre-season friendly will kick-off at 15:30 at the iconic FNB Stadium.
“I am happy with the mood in the team,” concludes Komphela. “The Carling Cup will give us an opportunity to measure our level of readiness for the new season.”