MARITZBURG United will finalise a three-man shortlist for their vacant head coach position by the close of business today, the team’s chairperson Farook Kadodia said.
The Team of Choice boss has also suggested the appointment was likely to be a foreign one, due to the limited number of quality local coaches currently available.
The club formally parted company with Steve Komphela last week, with the former United boss subsequently appointed as Kaizer Chiefs coach for the 2015/16 season.
Applications for the vacancy have since been flooding in, although most appear to have come from beyond the borders of South Africa.
“We’ve received a lot of applicants and they’re still coming in,” Kadodia said. “Locals there are not too many, there are a lot of foreign applications that we have.
“Amongst the locals there hasn’t been much that’s really worth the while to talk about.”
His comments may be a blow for the likes of Shaun Bartlett. The rookie former Lamontville Golden Arrows coach, who admitted that he had applied, led the Durban club to promotion in 2014/15 only for his contract not to be renewed.
There were also reports last week linking former Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti to the position, but Kadodia insisted this was mere speculation.
“Everything we’re hearing at the moment is pure media speculation,” he explained. “We will hopefully by the end of Monday prepare a shortlist of three candidates for the job.
“Obviously that will be a very behind the scenes process, we won’t reveal the shortlist until we finalise the appointment. We hope to finalise the new coach by the weekend at the earliest, if not then by the month end.”
Mandla Ncikazi, assistant coach under Komphela, has been placed in temporary charge and took charge of the squad during their first week back in pre-season training last week.
Whoever the new coach is, should expect to make a smooth transition into his position as Kadodia admits there will not be any wholesale changes to the playing personnel.
Maritzburg’s recruitment policy means there is a fairly settled squad at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
“As when the coach was here, we’ve indicate that we’ll only be replacing the guys that have left the club, which is probably about six of them,” the chairperson said. “That’s what we’re targeting, there’s no need to go out and build a new team now.
“We need to basically headhunt six players in the market. We hope that as teams start stocking up towards the end of June, there will be a clearer picture of the market.
“Contracts of many players will be expiring at the time and people will start to talk more seriously by then.”
The club have so far lost senior players like goalkeeper Shuaib Walters, midfielder Thabang Matuka as well as forwards Thokozani Sekotlong and Terrance Mandaza.
On-loan trio Sibusiso Kumalo, Ntuthuko Mabaso and Kwanda Mngonyama have also returned to parent club Mamelodi Sundowns.
And Kadodia is hoping to recruit like-for-like players following the departures.
“The key areas we’re looking at is find a goalkeeper, a striker and a central defender,” he added. “We’re also looking out for a back-up holding midfielder, probably a back-up right back, so those are the main areas we looking at.”