Bafana coach Baxter confirms he was on Kaizer Chiefs' radar for a return to Naturena

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter speaks to the media at Safa House during his squad announcement for South Africa's Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification match against Lybia August 28 2018.
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter speaks to the media at Safa House during his squad announcement for South Africa's Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification match against Lybia August 28 2018.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed that he did receive contact from Kaizer Chiefs with a view of returning to Naturena as Amakhosi's coach.

Baxter said of the reports that Chiefs at one stage were courting him for a return: "Yes‚ I'm sure there was life in it".

The Bafana coach did not deny that there had been any contact between him and the club where he won league and cup doubles in 2013-14 and 2015-16‚ saying only that any such communication was not as "drawn out" as it was made to look in the media.

Reports in June‚ denied by the SA Football Association (Safa)‚ were that Baxter‚ at the time at home in Sweden on holiday‚ might leave Bafana for Chiefs.

Asked to clarify what the position was‚ Baxter said this week: "I left here and I went to Sweden to hopefully go and watch the World Cup from Russia‚ but at least watch it from Sweden and do all my reports for Safa.

"And during that time I was bombarded by reports and counter-reports about how interested Chiefs were to bring me there.

"Now‚ I'm not blowing my own trumpet when I say that I would imagine that every time Chiefs need a coach my name would come up there somewhere – rightly or wrongly.

"And I'm sure‚ because you get to know through different sources‚ that there was a scenario where people were hoping that that would happen.

"Does that mean that I was sitting down in negotiations with Chiefs? No it doesn't.

"And it doesn't mean that they were disturbing me every day pestering me.

"But you guys like a good story‚ so there was a bit of life in that one. So you flogged it a little bit.

"And I'm sure that Safa were not sure how they would deal with it. But we were in contact and I was doing my job.

"I was reporting on things like the African teams and how they were doing at the World Cup.

"So‚ yes I'm sure there was life in it. But was it an ongoing saga as we saw in the press? No it wasn't.

"So I think very quickly we could understand that no matter what ambitions other people might have sometimes it doesn't work."

Baxter was speaking as he announced his squad this week for the Saturday‚ September 8 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Durban against Libya.

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