Seema's sudden departure to Chippa United came as a shock to Bloem Celtic‚ says CEO Konco

Bloemfontein Celtic coaching stafff is full with the club's former players.
Bloemfontein Celtic coaching stafff is full with the club's former players.
Image: Philip Maeta

Bloemfontein Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco has admitted that Lehlohonolo Seema's sudden departure as co-head coach to join Chippa United this week came as a shock to the Free State club.

Konco‚ though‚ said that the retention of the other half of Celtic's coaching duo‚ Malawian former club midfield stalwart John Maduka‚ softens the blow of Seema's resignation markedly.

Seema on Monday abruptly resigned from Celtic‚ where he has quite successfully co-coached the team with Maduka through trying times of the club being for sale by owner Max Tshabalala‚ accompanied by sporadic player strikes‚ and hours later joined Chippa.

"It definitely came as a shock.

"He has been with us through thick and thin‚" Konco told TimesLIVE of the departure of the ex-Orlando Pirates centreback‚ who also was a defensive stalwart for Celtic from 1998 to 2006.

Konco said while Seema took the lead in press conferences and addressing the media‚ this was not indicative of him being the senior in the coaching relationship with Maduka.

"When clubs do co-coaches‚ remember one is going to take a lead [with the media role]‚" Konco explained.

"I think that because we left it up to them they agreed it would be Seema doing the interviews.

"They didn't want it to be‚ 'Today it's you‚ tomorrow it's me‚ then it's you'. They wanted that to be one person doing the interviews.

"But the coaching roles and responsibilities were the same. He was the co-coach with John Maduka.

"That's why now he's resigned we can't appoint anyone else - because we had two coaches.

"So Maduka carries on now until the end of the season‚ and we feel safe with him because he was coaching with Seema."

Celtic were among the clubs approved for a return to training by the Premier Soccer League "a few days ago"‚ Konco said.

The staggered return to training in the next month paves the way for the teams to enter a single-city bio-safe environment in August to complete the 2019-20 season‚ which was suspended by the Premier Soccer League due to Covid-19 on March 16.

Celtic were in ninth place (28 points from 23 games) when the Absa Premiership was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.