Ntseki accepts Chiefs challenge but fans sceptical

Head of development elevated as Zwane is demoted

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Molefi Ntseki has stepped up as head coach at Kaizer Chiefs, taking over from Arthur Zwane who has been demoted after just one season.
Molefi Ntseki has stepped up as head coach at Kaizer Chiefs, taking over from Arthur Zwane who has been demoted after just one season.
Image: Philip Maeta

That Molefi Ntseki has no proven winning track record and experience at club level, coupled with the fact that he’s been part of the team for two years already where his contributions have hardly been highlighted, could perhaps explain why his appointment as the new Kaizer Chiefs coach was met with widespread disapproval.

Yesterday, Chiefs raised eyebrows when they announced Ntseki as their new coach ahead of the new season, replacing beleaguered Arthur Zwane, who’s been demoted to the assistant coach role alongside Dillon Sheppard. 

Ntseki had been Chiefs’ head of technical and youth development, having arrived on a three-year deal in May 2021. Amakhosi didn’t confirm the length of Ntseki’s contract as the new coach but he had a year remaining from his previous contract.

After a poor 2022/23 campaign, where they finished with a record 12 defeats in the league in what was his maiden as the head coach, Zwane’s days always seemed numbered. Reports said the club had been targeting Tunisian coach Nasreddine Nabi, a back-to-back treble winner with Tanzanian side Young Africans, and when that didn’t materialise, fans found Ntseki's elevation a bitter pill to swallow.

“You guys don’t respect us,” wrote one Twitter user under the Chiefs' official page which confirmed Ntseki. Another said: “You all must be joking.”

Ntseki, 53, has coached only Bafana Bafana at a senior level, where he was fired in March 2021 after failing to qualify for the Afcon finals. The Botshabelo-born, Free State, trainer has mostly served as the behind-the-scenes man, as assistant coach at Under-17, under-20 and under-23 level, teams that qualified for their continental tournaments before he moved up to the Bafana role as Baxter’s right-hand man in 2017.

Ntseki accepted the challenge by saying: “I fully accept this huge responsibility that the chairman, our board of directors and the club have bestowed on me with humility and respect. I thank them for their confidence and belief in me to become the captain of the ship. I look forward to working with everyone involved in the technical team to bring joy to our millions of Amakhosi supporters around the world.”

Amakhosi chairperson Kaizer Motaung vowed they’ll support Ntseki.

“We look forward to coach Ntseki sharing his experience and ensuring that there is stability in the team while we improve our performance. We will provide him with all the support he needs in this new role,” Motaung said in a statement.

Meanwhile, former goalkeeper coach Rainer Dinkelacker has returned as a strategic adviser in the goalkeeping department.

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