Chiefs shrug off criticism
Johannesburg - Glamour PSL club Kaizer Chiefs will select a South African head coach when the right man is available.
This was the forthright comment on Tuesday from iconic chairman and club founder Kaizer Motaung while answering criticism related to the appointment of British-born, former Bafana Bafana coach, Stuart Baxter as the successor to the fired Vladimr Vermezovic on Monday.
"The nationality of the coach we appoint at Chiefs is never a factor," said Motaung.
"We evaluate the credentials of all the candidates and finally choose the right man for the job - whether he is born in China, Brazil or Timbuktu.
"Naturally we would love to have a South African-born coach at the helm because, apart from the sentimental aspect, there are other obvious advantages about having a local product in the position.
"But right now, there is no South African coach available with the credentials and experience we require for the position."
Motaung described as "laughable" the suggestion that Chiefs had a policy not to choose a South African as head coach - and said such allegations were the product of sensational and ignorant assumptions in the media.
Commenting on the choice of the experienced Baxter who, apart from coaching Bafana in 2004 and 2005, was also at the helm of the Finland national team from 2008 to 2010, Motaung said the reasons for the decision were two-fold.
"Firstly, Baxter has had vast experience of coaching top-level soccer at club and international level," said the Chiefs chairman.
"He is also highly qualified in the development sector and this will enable him to not only assist in the development of young talent at the club, but also assist other members our coaching staff with his expertise."
Motaung also pointed out that the one valid criticism of appointing an outsider as coach was that he did not have an intimate knowledge of local players and conditions.
"But this was not a factor in the case of Baxter because he has spent several years in South Africa while coaching Bafana and has acquired an intimate knowledge of local players - both individually and how they perform collectively."
Motaung said that former Chiefs stars Ace Khuse and Doctor Khumalo, who have acted with limited success as coach and assistant coach on an interim basis following the departure of Vermezovic, would still be offered positions on the Amakhosi technical staff.
However, the Chiefs chairman said the exact posts that would be offered to them would only be decided later in the week.