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Coaches are stringing it together for our SA sides


The rot started with the club showing the door to one of Mzansi’s latest additions to the coaching fraternity namely Eric Tinkler

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The latest avalanche of good results at the Naturena-based football club seems to indicate that the country’s favourite team seems to have turned the corner and probably put the run of bad luck with equally bad results behind them.

Not so long ago the man at the helm of Kaizer Chiefs, Giovanni Solinas, was blasted by the club’s many critics – some of whom are also part of the mainstream media – as a non-achiever.

His record was called into question at every turn. The fact that he was the first Italian to coach a South African club also became a weapon which the critics wielded happily as they took big swings at the man.

You can bet your last cent that, as of this week after Solinas strung together three wins in succession for Kaizer Chiefs, there will be many songs and reams of newsprint that will sing his praises as a genius.

The media and the public are fickle like that.

It is a good thing that the Motaung family did not bother with the public opinion about the coach they brought from football obscurity, otherwise they would have been on the hunt for a replacement coach as we speak.

From a look at the latest set of results for the Amakhosi it appears as though club and coach have now found each other and the two are happy to make merry on the football pitch for some time to come.

Which brings up the matter of another unsung coach at SuperSport United. Not so long ago things looked worrisome, even extremely dreadful for this Tshwane-based club. The rot started with the club showing the door to one of Mzansi’s latest additions to the coaching fraternity namely Eric Tinkler.

They rummaged through their cupboard and found the assistant to the fired coach, Kaitano Tembo. The Zimbabwean is a humble man who is uncomfortable with singing his own praises and rather prefers to kick a ball around than talk a lot.

Well, humble Kaitano cannot be modest any more. A glance at the log for this season will show that SuperSport have won four of their six matches and lost two. Now that is significant considering that the man who brought them that set of results was not even on the shortlist as head coach when the team needed one.

As a matter of fact, Kaitano was out on the field hunting for football talent when SuperSport head honcho Stan Matthews answered the media query as to when and who is going to step into Tinkler’s shoes. The club did not even mention that they might be giving in-house staff a look over to see if they fit the bill.

Looking at SuperSport now one gets the impression that the club might have opted to quietly bury the issue of still searching for a coach. The results as they are suggest that they may not be looking for a long time to come.

Lastly, I would be failing if not to give a big hug to another coach, namely Banyana Banyana’s Desiree Ellis. She is at present basking in the glory of her second major achievement as head coach. If memory serves me right Ellis first won the Cosafa contest last year as a stand-in coach when they beat Zimbabwe.

Well, she has done it again. Banyana have consolidated their hold on this title by successfully defending it on home soil. South Africa ought to, by right, own the Cosafa mantle as a matter of course.

There ought not to be any speculation in the Cosafa circles as to who the real mother of this title is. The challenge for Mzansi should be to upscale that dominance that they enjoy in the south to further north of the continent and beyond.