IT’S going to be business as usual for Maritzburg United who yesterday announced Mandla Ncikazi as Steve Komphela’s successor as head coach.
The Team of Choice has been looking for a new coach since Komphela, who guided them to their highest ever league finish last season, quit the club to take over at reigning Premier League champions Kaizer Chiefs.
Ncikazi, who had been assistant coach at United for the last year-and-a-half, has signed a on a two-year contract as the head coach. He will be aided by former skipper Fadlu Davids, who returns following stints as number two to Ernst Middendorp at Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United.
When Komphela first joined the club, he felt the average age of the team had been too high and Ncikazi said they had done well in reducing it to around 25.
“In this country, we are obsessed in rotating old players from one team to another.
“In our club, we brought in about 15 youngsters and out of them, three of them played in the last match against AmaZulu and two of them scored,” Ncikazi said as he promised to give young players a chance to grow.
“That philosophy is one we want to maintain.”
Having been groomed by Komphela, Ncikazi said the way the club did things would remain the same as they moved forward.
“The methods the previous coach used — we share it and we come from the same school [of thought] and we’re not going to change.
“Everything we did was based on discussions we had,” he added.
Ncikazi also praised Davids, who he regarded highly, saying his input in how the club was run would be important.
Davids, United’s former captain and leading goalscorer of all time, said although he did have aspirations of becoming head coach one day, for now his job was to support Ncikazi in achieving the club’s goals.
“I do one day want to become head coach, but not in the near future. My job at the moment is to support Mandla and the club to achieve success through my expertise picked up over the years,” he said, adding he was working towards his coaching qualifications every off season. He currently holds a Uefa B coaching licence.
For chairperson Farook Kadodia, the mandate was still to achieve a top eight finish, with the hope of pushing on and doing well in cup competitions.
“It’s human tendency that when you grow bigger, so do your aspirations. We’ve achieved a top eight finish and I think it’s well deserved and overdue. In the coming season, the mandate is strong to finish in the top eight and reach cup finals,” Kadodia told The Witness at a press conference yesterday.
Ncikazi’s appointment comes at a time when the club and Komphela are involved in a dispute over compensation owed, an issue the chairperson refused to dwell on