Dan Malesela receives vote of confidence by Chippa management
Chippa United coach Dan Malesela has been given a vote of confidence by team management after ensuring that premiership football will continue to be played in the Eastern Cape next season.
The Chilli Boys received a hero’s welcome at Port Elizabeth International Airport on Sunday after an away goalless draw with Free State Stars in their final league match of the season guaranteed their stay in the topflight.
The draw was a good enough result for both sides to avoid relegation.
Chippa finished the season in 13th position on the log with 28 points and Free State Stars 14th.
After lingering doubt about Malesela’s future‚ the team’s chief operation officer Lukhanyo Mzinzi confirmed the head coach will be part of the team next season.
“A draw never felt this good‚" Mzinzi said.
"There were no celebrations last night. The coach stayed with his players at the hotel and we had a chatted about the next season.
“The coach has a three-year contract with the team‚ so he is coming back next season. He is our coach we have to discuss a lot of things including player recruitment.
“Being the only PSL club in the Eastern Cape comes with its own pressure. We are a young club but we know that people of this province love us and they love beautiful things.
“So‚ we might have to challenge for at least one trophy next season because they can’t wait for too long. We are always mindful of that.”
A small group of loyal Chilli Boys’ supporters sang songs and cheered the players and Malesela said the welcoming was very satisfying.
“It says a lot‚" Malesela said.
“It says people love you and appreciate the job you are doing.
"We owe it to these guys‚ we owe it to PE and the people of the Eastern Cape to have this team here. This is why you need to have this team here.” he said.
Although the former Orlando Pirates defender was aiming to end the season on 30 points‚ he was a satisfied man.
“I am pleased with the result and it’s a situation we don’t want to be in ever again. It’s stressful.
“Everybody was under pressure‚ not only me. Even the players . . . you could tell in the match that there was just tension. It was one of the most tense games we have ever played in.”
Malesela said that going forward he needed to have more stability in the rearguard.
Asked if he has identified some players yet‚ Malesela said the management and technical team would sit on Monday and discuss options. - TMG Digital/TMG Sport