S'Busiso Mseleku

Can Chiefs hold onto Mashamaite and Baxter?

2015-05-18 12:47
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

Footballers swapped their boots for dress shoes as they made their way to the Sandton Convention Centre for the 2014/15 PSL awards.

Kaizer Chiefs cleaned the floor with the other 15 clubs at the Absa Premiership glittering awards night on Sunday.

At the forefront, was gangling defender and captain, Tefu Mashamaite who took three of the four awards he was nominated for, thus making a tidy sum of R450 000.

Then as expected, Englishman Stuart Baxter walked away with the Coach of the Year gong and George Maluleka chipped in with R80 000 for the MTN's Last Man Standing award for good measure.

All good and well for a club that showed consistency right through the season.

However, the question now becomes: Will Chiefs be able to hold on to their coach  and captain viz: Mashamaite and Baxter?

Rumours have been swirling around for a long time that Baxter is on the verge of bidding the Naturena side farewell. From as early as the beginning of the just ended season, there was talk that the South African Football Association (SAFA) were interested in roping in Baxter as the Technical Director.

There is now talk that a number of clubs, some from Europe, have been circling the Briton in a bid to woo him into their camps.

Only time will tell whether he will be able to resist both the lure of the Euro (which is currently much, much more attractive than the Rand) and just that urge for a change of scene.

The latest talk in soccer circles is that mining mogul, Patrice Motsepe, the real Mr Moneybags of South African football, has offered Mashamaite a mountain of dough to join his toy, Mamelodi Sundowns.

And very few players have in the past been able to resist Motsepe's charm, let alone his more than enough money.

After years of following and covering South African football, one has learned that it is one field where there is hardly smoke without fire.

After an extremely domineering season, what would be the consequences of Amakhosi losing their two pillars in coach and defender?

Don't forget that goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune's future with the Naturena side is still not secure as the player has still not put pen on paper to sign on the dotted line.

Are these indications of an uncertain season on the horizon for the would be league defending champions?

With this season's success, that brought not only the league championship but the MTN8 Cup as well, the club's supporters will be looking for even more success.

We  all know how demanding the Amakhosi faithful can be.

But this is not called football's silly season for nothing.

It is at this time of the season where there is a lot of speculation about coaches and players' movements. Some of the speculated moves do materialise while some just fizzle out.

It will also be interesting to see what happens to the two big moves that were mooted during the January open window period. Still remember those, of Oupa Manyisa from Orlando Pirates to Sundowns and Bongani "Drogba" Ndulula leaving AmaZulu for Kaizer Chiefs.

At the time. it was reported that the deals could not go through as the two concerned players were not around to sign on the dotted lines for their "new" clubs, thanks to Bafana Bafana's flight being delayed in Equatorial Guinea after the Africa Cup of Nations.

So, here is to the soccer silly season where the rumour mill goes into overdrive.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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Read more on:    psl  |  s’busiso mseleku  |  soccer


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