Cape Town - The curtain has come down on the PSL season and, as always, there was drama aplenty.
While, Moroka Swallows are still fighting for their survival and they will have to overcome Jomo Cosmos and Black Leopards in a three way playoff that begins on Sunday.
With the league completed and Kaizer Chiefs having scooped the major honour, Sport24 looks back at the contrasting fortunes of some of the country’s PSL coaches.
STUART BAXTER (KAIZER CHIEFS)
Kaizer Chiefs were in a class of their own throughout the season. It wasn’t always the prettiest but what Baxter has done is get all of his players on the same page. Chiefs’ defensive structure made them extremely difficult to break down, while at the other end - an ability to control the game delivered the goods more often than not. Under Baxter, Chiefs could be set for a special era at the club.
ROGER DE SA (AJAX CAPE TOWN)
De Sa looks a much happier man away from the pressures that came with the Orlando Pirates job. In charge of an Ajax side that doesn’t pay huge wages, De Sa’s side did not have the star quality of those that finished above them. That makes their fifth place finish all the more impressive.
STEVE KOMPHELA (MARITZBURG UNITED)
It was an up and down season for Maritzburg, but with more ups than downs. Their eighth place finish is the best in the club’s history and Komphela displayed an ability to man manage and give opportunities to young, largely unknown players. The Team of Choice will be desperate to hold onto their coach in the off-season.
KINNAH PHIRI (FREE STATE STARS)
Phiri had a tough job taking over the reins last year. Stars were struggling in the league, and didn’t get immediately better under the Malawian. Relegation threatened, but a strong end to the season saw Phiri’s charges amass 16 points from their last six fixtures to rise to ninth on the log.
ERNST MIDDENDORP (BLOEMFONTEIN CELTIC AND CHIPPA UNITED)
The German tactician started the season at Bloemfontein Celtic but he was sacked before the Christmas break after a string of poor results. He wasn’t out in the cold for long, though, taking over at Chippa United in early January. But things didn’t get any better for the former Maritzburg boss and he was suspended as coach at the end of March without a win to his name.
CRAIG ROSSLEE (AMAZULU AND MOROKA SWALLOWS)
It is hard to not feel sorry for Rosslee. He got AmaZulu off to a woeful start that ultimately saw them relegated and could not turn the fortunes of Moroka Swallows around when he joined the Dobsonville club in March. Still, he has a chance to put all of that right if he can keep the Dube Birds up through the unenviable promotion/relegation playoffs, but the possibility of having managed two relegated clubs in one season looms large.
STEVE BARKER (UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA AND AMAZULU)
Barker says that he doesn’t regret leaving Tuks for AmaZulu. It was a move that provided him with a major challenge, and although it was one that he failed the courage behind the decision has to be commended. The only good news for Usuthu is that in Barker they have a manger with NFD experience – something he will get a lot more of next season.