S'Busiso Mseleku

Spare a thought for soccer coaches

2017-01-13 12:32
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

Not so long ago, Premier Soccer League newcomers Baroka FC were agog as they unveiled a house they had built for coach Kgoloko Thobejane.

In a MMS with a picture of the house sent to yours truly on December 31, club boss Khurisi Mphahlele wrote “The house is the club appreciate (sic) the good work our couch (sic) has done for the club.”

A beaming Morgan Mammila, the club’s CEO, told journalists that the four-bedroomed house at KgaMphahlele in Limpopo was “for his family for life. We have built this house for him. This is to thank him for promoting the team to the PSL.”

Three days later, Thobejane revealed that he had signed five players to beef up the squad of the club that is languishing at the wrong end of the Absa Premiership table.

Fast forward to this week, Thobejane was given the proverbial boot by Baroka and replaced by journeyman Jacob Sakala.

Sakala’s appointment took place a mere nine days after Thobejane received his token of appreciation.

And you tell me that the life of a coach is easy!

It seems like yesterday when Thobejane was riding the crest of the wave and performing several jigs of joy as his club climbed from the National First Division (NFD) and continued with its giant-killing trade in knockout competitions in the elite league.

His wild celebrations had become a marvel to watch. However, all that is now over - at least for now - as he has joined the long list of the unemployed.

On the same day that Thobejane was fired, Maritzburg United held a press conference to reveal Roger de Sa as their new mentor.

De Sa had been jobless since December last year when he parted ways with the Urban Warriors, Ajax Cape Town.

The club said De Sa’s mandate was to finish in the Top 8 and reach at least one Cup final “as it has been the mandate since the beginning of the season.”

De Sa takes over where German Ernst Middendorp left off.

The ink had hardly dried on De Sa's contract when Free State Stars dropped their own bombshell.

“Free State Stars FC confirms the mutual termination of head coach Giovanni Solinas' employment contract with immediate effect”, read part of a statement signed by club General Manager, Rantsi Mokoena.

The club then announced that former player and captain, Serame Letsoaka, who also recently parted ways with Bloemfontein Celtic where results did not go his way, would take over the reins until the end of the season.

While this usual game of musical chairs continues unabated, Orlando Pirates fans are waiting with bated breath to hear who the new man to take the club through the final furlong of the season will be.

The club has been helped by perennial “caretaker” coach August Palacios, the Peruvian who pronounces his position as “Karateka” coach.

But the results have not been pleasing “The Ghost” - Pirates supporters - who can’t wait to see what rabbit the wily Iron Duke of South African Football, Irvin Khoza, pulls out of his hat this time around.

And you still wonder why I’m the self appointed Life President of the NDMSASM - No Dull Moment in South African Soccer Movement!

And you thought it was the off-season.

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 over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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