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All eyes on Chiefs’, Sundowns’ new coaches

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Kaizer Chiefs, the most decorated club in South African football, will attract the lions’ share of attention as new coach Gavin Hunt will discover the harsh glare of the country’s most passionate and demanding fans.

Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi have been appointed joint head coaches, while Steve Komphela has been named as senior coach. Picture: Mansandawana on Twitter

CAPE TOWN – At least three new coaches will officially step into the spotlight this weekend when the new PSL season kicks off with the MTN quarter-finals.

Kaizer Chiefs, the most decorated club in South African football, will attract the lions’ share of attention as new coach Gavin Hunt will discover the harsh glare of the country’s most passionate and demanding fans.

On Saturday though, it will be vastly different because the match will be played behind closed doors at Soccer City, but nothing will stop hordes of fans airing their views on social media platforms.

Former Chiefs mentor Mushin Ertugral sounded a warning to Hunt in a recent media interview.

“Every weekend you will be under a microscope with the performance and you have to deal with the pressure that comes with it.

“Gavin (Hunt) is a winner that knows how to win a trophy, but it is different to prepare and guide a team of Chiefs’ stature.”

Chiefs are up against Eric Tinkler’s Maritzburg United who were one of the surprise packages last season. Under Tinkler, the team improved in leaps and bounds and retained a fair measure of consistency as the season wore on.

Eric Tinkler

Tinkler, while working at several clubs in the past, would have prepared many teams that were coached by Hunt. He has proved to be an astute coach and could come up with an excellent plan for the Chiefs.

After the Chiefs match on Sunday, Sundowns host Bloemfontein Celtic in Pretoria. The teams met last month in the Nedbank Cup final which Sundowns won rather unconvincingly.

This time Celtic it will be facing a vastly different Sundowns following the departure of coach Pitso Mosimane, and with the arrival of Steve Komphela yesterday morning, Sundowns will now have three coaches.

Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi have already been appointed joint head coaches and Komphela has been named as senior coach.

It is an unusual set-up and could be a recipe for disaster as the three coaches might try to impose their authority on the players during the week leading up to Sunday’s match. Mnqgithi is the senior man in the triumvirate and he will feel the heat more than anyone else if Celtic run Sundowns close again.

Over at the Limpopo-based Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM), there is still uncertainty about who will coach the team. Former Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama was in the running but lately, TTM have been courting former Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza.

By yesterday TTM have still not named their coach as the squad prepare for Saturday’s home quarter-final against SuperSport United.

@Herman_Gibbs