‘Definitely’ a different Kaizer Chiefs coach next season: Kaizer Jnr

The once-mighty team are in danger of going to a decade without silverware

Marc Strydom Digital Sports Editor
Kaizer Chiefs sporting director Kaizer Motaung Jnr. File photo
Kaizer Chiefs sporting director Kaizer Motaung Jnr. File photo
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Kaizer Motaung Jnr says there will “definitely” be a new Kaizer Chiefs coach next season.

Chiefs’ sporting director stressed that the plan for Cavin Johnson to be in charge of the first team temporarily remains in place. Johnson joined Amakhosi as head of the academy in September but took over as first team interim coach after Molefi Ntseki was fired in October.

Motaung Jnr said the search for a new coach began “a while ago” and suggested there are a number of candidates being reviewed.

Johnson began with some positive results at the end of 2023 but Chiefs have gone off the boil again in 2024, dropping to eighth place in the DStv Premiership on the back of one win in their past eight matches.

Their Nedbank Cup exit in February means the ailing Soweto giants will go to a ninth campaign without silverware in 2023-24.

Motaung Jnr was asked on the sidelines of the memorial for defender Luke Fleurs, who was killed in a hijacking last week, at FNB Stadium on Thursday if Chiefs have a plan to have a new coaching staff in 2024-25.

“There is definitely,” he said. “It’s a something we communicated from the onset — Cavin has stepped in on an interim basis and we’re [committed] to having a different technical structure next season.

“I know we are focused on the next game and the next seven games and we have everything to play for. But yes, definitely the plans have long been in motion — we’ll be having a different technical structure next season.”

Motaung Jnr seemed evasive when asked if that means Chiefs already have names on their shortlist.

“Well, you know, it’s our shortlist but who makes that shortlist? From our side we’ve been preparing for a while now and at the appropriate time we’ll make the right announcements.”

Chiefs are in danger of going to a decade without silverware next season. With that potentially disastrous landmark in mind, Amakhosi surely would not want to still be searching for a coach at the start of the off-season, who might then arrive once the preseason had started, endangering their 2024-25 campaign.

Motaung Jnr was asked to confirm that the wheels are in motion. He said Chiefs are looking at all the departments in their technical and back room structure that need strengthening.

“Like I said, the wheels have been in motion for quite a while now. We’re also not just looking at it as if it’s a one-man coach; we’re looking at it in terms of what we need and we’ll be making all the changes we need to make that are going to take us in the direction we need to go in.”

Including caretaker coaches, Chiefs have had 10 men at the helm since their last trophy success came with a league and cup double under Stuart Baxter in 2014-15. Some, like Gavin Hunt and Baxter again, had trophy pedigree. Too many — such as Giovanni Solinas, Steve Komphela, Arthur Zwane and Molefi Ntseki — had not won a trophy.

For a huge club under immense pressure to turn around their silverware drought from their monstrous support base, hiring so many coaches who did not have trophies under the belt seems to have been a major aspect of their woes in that respect.

Motaung Jnr was asked if there is an awareness at Chiefs that, given how deep the hole is they have fallen into, it will most likely take a coach with stature and pedigree to help them climb out of it.

“I think for us to achieve what we need to achieve, and what this club is known for, is not just going to take one person. It’s not just going to take a coach, or a [change of] technical staff.

“It’s going to take a lot of people, a lot of structures, a lot of elements that need to work that have not been working for many years.

“We are very cognisant of where we are and what needs to be done and what we haven’t done right in the past. We are really focused on the future right now and we want to make sure we make the right decisions.”

Asked to clarify if that means there is an awareness of the profile of players and coaches needed, he replied: “Definitely.”

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