MARITZBURG United chairperson Farook Kadodia admits the club have been left hurt by the departure of coach Steve Komphela and the manner in which he left, but remain confident of finding the right man to replace him.
Komphela was unveiled as the new Kaizer Chiefs boss yesterday, days after he tendered his resignation from the Team of Choice.
His departure comes a little over a month after he led the Pietermaritzburg club into the Premiership’s top eight for the first time in their history.
“I am extremely disappointed that Steve has left us, because amid all the speculation that started before the last two games, it was a repeat of what happened last year when Steve was linked to Chippa United,” Kadodia says.
“We firmly believe that his business manager Tim Sukazi spun the story every year to market his client for a better position.
“As we all know, Steve is an aspirational coach … he is a man that always wants better things in life. We fully respect that.
“But Maritzburg was used as an insurance policy each time and again this is what has happened. He only tendered his resignation once the job at Chiefs became a security.”
Kadodia revealed that their success under Komphela in the 2014/15 season was a potential springboard for further development in the new term, although that may now be tempered due to his departure.
“We were disappointed simply because we had a plan with Steve,” the Maritzburg boss explained. “He had one year left on his contract and we believe it would have been extended thereafter because this year was a target for silverware.
“While Steve had stabilised our ship, we had also assembled a strong technical team for him and we built a team for the future. This coming season under him was going to be a very crucial one for us in our way forward.
“Notwithstanding all that, we have to accept life as it comes.”
However, he assured fans that they should not be too concerned with plans already afoot to find a suitable successor.
“The message to the fans is to remain calm,” Kadodia said. “Their interest will always be served first because they were the backbone of support last season. We firmly believe we will invest in a coach that will make the fans proud.”
The club began pre-season training this week with assistant Mandla Ncikazi in temporary charge, but Kadodia said that his inbox was already being flooded with applicants for the post.
“We can’t give any names, but there are a lot of enquiries coming through, from both locally and internationally,” the chairman said.
“We will decide what’s best for our club.
“We have to scrutinise all the CVs we receive at the moment. We’re not going to headhunt and disturb another club by taking a coach out of employment. We have to look at both local and foreign-based coaches to see exactly who is the best for the job.
“We have to really apply our minds to see who is the best guy that fits the role…”
Kadodia added that he was hoping to make an appointment by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the fixtures for the opening two rounds of the new season were revealed yesterday with United handed a fairly straightforward start, at home against newly-promoted Jomo Cosmos.
That match is scheduled for the weekend of August 9 and 10, with the Team of Choice to travel to Cape Town to face Ajax in their second game.
Before that, though, they are set for an early reunion with Komphela when they play their first ever MTN8 game, the quarter-final against Chiefs a week earlier