Baxter to steer Amakhosi ship
KAIZER Chiefs has confirmed Stuart Baxter as their new coach on a two-year deal with an option to renew should he meet the club's objectives.
Baxter, an Englishman who is also a former Bafana Bafana mentor, was head-hunted by Amakhosi following football manager Bobby Motaung's visit to London last month.
Baxter will take over next season after the Glamour Club sacked Vladimir Vermezovic earlier last month.
Donald Khuse, Doctor Khumalo and Arthur Zwane were appointed joint caretaker coaches for the remainder of the season, but will make way for Baxter in the new campaign which kicks off in August.
Baxter was unattached before being hired by Chiefs, having only been appointed as an advisor to Swedish club AIK.
However, he has been in international limbo since being sacked by Finland, who he was expected to guide to this year's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
Baxter spent the day with Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung and the board yesterday and will attend the club's match against Ajax Cape Town at the Peter Mokaba Stadium tomorrow.
By bringing Baxter on board, the Chiefs management have ignored pleas from players - led by captain Itumeleng Khune - to hire a local man. Khune said Chiefs were missing the "African flair" under European coaches, who the club has preferred in the PSL era.
Motaung is on record as saying a local coach would not deliver at Chiefs.
"Baxter will fit in well into our strategy going forward because of his great wealth of knowledge at the club, national team and at international level," said Motaung.
"His expertise as far as mentoring coaches as an instructor will assist us in developing our own coaches and will also hold a great deal in developing our youth academy."
Baxter had a torrid time while at Bafana - quitting after failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. The South African Football Association had given him the job in 2004.
Baxter said: "I'm very happy at taking up this challenging, but exciting project at Chiefs."
His immediate task will be to win the Premier League at Chiefs, an honour the club last achieved in 2005. Baxter's major achievement was winning a domestic cup with another Swedish team - Helsingborgs IF in 2006 and taking AIK to the group stages of the European Champions League in 1999.