Kaizer Chiefs announce new head coach

Giovanni Solinas (Gallo Images)
Giovanni Solinas (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs have announced the appointment of Giovanni Solinas as their new head coach ahead of the 2018/19 season.

The Italian has signed a two-year contract with the Soweto giants with the option for a one-year extension.

"We always look at what a coach can do and we believe that with Solinas, we have brought in a person with the right mechanism and energy to do well,” club chairperson Kaizer Motaung said.

The 50-year-old has previous experience of South African football having been head coach at Free State Stars from 2015-2017.

Solinas has also coached teams in Algeria and most recently Saudi Arabian side Al-Faisaly FC.

"We also looked at recruiting a coach who understands our league and somebody who can help us do well on the African continent, as we will be participating in the Confederations Cup," Motaung continued.

"It’s important to understand that the game of football has become very scientific, which means that the strength of the coach is the technical team around him, even though he will, of course, always be the one in charge. We feel that Solinas is the right guy to guide this process."

Solinas resigned from his post as coach of Ea Lla Koto in May 2016 citing "personal reasons" for his decision with the club confirming it failed in its efforts to convince him to stay.

He then re-joined Free State Stars in September 2016 for a second spell before having his contract terminated in January 2017 with the tactician then strongly linked to Orlando Pirates.

The newly-appointed Chiefs coach has a winning percentage of 36.11% while in charge of minnows FS Stars while faring slightly better at Al-Faisaly FC last season with a 40% record.

"It’s a big opportunity as Kaizer Chiefs are a big club, not only in South Africa but also on the African continent," said Solinas.

"Coaching a club of this magnitude comes with a big responsibility. I will work hard day and night to make the Kaizer Chiefs Family and the supporters happy."

Solinas has had a taste of the African Champions League and Confederations Cup with JSM Béjaïa and ES Sétif, with which he won the Algeria Cup.

He has a UEFA Pro Licence and got a degree in Sport Science at the University of Florence.

Prior to the announcement, Amakhosi have been strongly linked with former head coach and current Bafana Bafana mentor Stuart Baxter and made clear their aim to appoint a coach with continental experience.

Amakhosi were strongly linked to Englishman Baxter who is the last coach to taste success with the Soweto giants having enjoyed a successful period at the club from 2012 to 2015.

The 64-year-old won league and cup doubles while at Chiefs with the club failing to lift a trophy in three seasons under his replacement Steve Komphela.

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