Doctor Khumalo takes over on Baroka FC bench
Baroka FC have appointed Doctor Khumalo to be the man in charge of the team’s last two matches as they bid to finish the 2017-18 season inside the top eight bracket.
Khumalo‚ the club’s technical director‚ will move to the bench when Baroka host Bloemfontein Celtic at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
He will also guide them away to SuperSport United at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in the final round of league matches on May 12.
“Last night [Thursday night] the chairman [Khurishi Mphahlele] asked Doc to take over the reigns for our last two games against Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United‚” a source said.
“Doc agreed to the request as we want to push for a top eight finish. It is the least we deserve after starting the season so well before there were issues which led to the dismissal of former coach Kgoloko Thobejane.”
Caretaker-coach MacDonald Makhubedu‚ who filled that position since Thobejane was suspended in February‚ then later dismissed‚ has reportedly stepped down from the post.
Baroka currently occupy 11th place in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with 33 points from 28 games. Victories against Celtic and SuperSport will see them finish on 39.
Together with Kaizer Chiefs‚ they have the third-highest number of draws (12) behind Lamontville Golden Arrows (13) and Chippa United and Polokwane City (14).
Baroka started the season like a house on fire in the first few months of the campaign. After seven rounds of matches‚ they were perched pretty at the summit of the Premier Soccer League standings with 15 points.
Ructions in the camp saw them part ways with coach Thobejane‚ Puskás award nominee goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke and captain Olaleng Shaku.
The trio were accused of drinking alcohol in the team’s bus following a 2-0 loss to Free State Stars earlier in February.
Things had already gone south for the Limpopo outfit in results before that‚ and they have continued on a slippery slide of late.
On Tuesday night Bakgaga lost 1-0 to Ajax Cape Town courtesy of a Mosa Lebusa strike deep in referee’s optional time‚ a huge result for the relegation-threatened Urban Warriors.
Before that Baroka were beaten 2-0 by Maritzburg United and lost 2-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns (both at home).
Prior to that they were held to a goalless draw by tailenders Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Stars were relegated to the National First Division on Wednesday.