Absa Premiership

The battle of the coaches begins

2018-05-20 06:05
Luc Eymael (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Some coaches will have a well-deserved break following a hectic Premier Soccer League season, but others will lose sleep as they worry about their jobs.

Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt are probably the only two coaches not at risk of losing their jobs – for now – while the rest will have to look over their shoulders to see if there is movement at the top.

Three teams that finished the season with interim coaches might not be the only ones searching for new mentors.

Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United and Baroka FC are on the lookout for new recruits after finishing the season with caretakers Patrick Mabedi, Kaitano Tembo and Doctor Khumalo.

While it is obvious that Chiefs, United and Baroka are on the market, other clubs cannot be ruled out after experiencing mixed fortunes in the season that just ended.

Chippa United, who also had Vladislav Heric in charge as an interim coach, have been the first off the blocks after confirming the Serb as their coach on a permanent basis.

Heric finished with the Chilli Boys after replacing Teboho Moloi late in the season.

AmaZulu

Cavin Johnson did well to steady the ship in the latter half of the season after difficulties in the first half. Johnson even qualified for the top eight after Usuthu finished seventh (until this week’s arbitrator’s decision to award SuperSport three points, which took them to the top eight and sent AmaZulu into ninth).

But it was a good return of investment for AmaZulu, who bought their status from Thanda Royal Zulu. This was a season to consolidate their status and they achieved that.

Golden Arrows

After struggling for most of the season, Clinton Larsen seemed to have saved the best for last and finished with a bang. After winning only once in 16 matches, Larsen’s side looked down and out at one stage, but managed to turn things around – winning four of the last nine games and losing only two of them.

Free State Stars

Stars may as well start looking for Luc Eymael’s replacement as he has been linked with a move to Chiefs, though he has denied this. Eymael showed his true potential by leading Stars to a top-eight finish and also to last night’s Nedbank Cup final.

Maritzburg United

Their gamble of sticking with a novice in Fadlu Davids paid off in the end, with the team finishing in the top four and also reaching their maiden cup final.

After achieving so much in his full season as a coach, the future looks bright for Davids and will be retained with ease.

Mamelodi Sundowns

As long as Pitso Mosimane keeps winning trophies, he will stay with the Brazilians for as long as he wants. Most coaches envy Mosimane’s position, but it has its own challenges as he knows that things can change if he doesn’t win trophies. But, for now, he can relax.

Bidvest Wits

If the club does not show Gavin Hunt the door after the season he had, chances are he will stay on as long as he wants to. Wits went through a tough season and surrendered the league title without a fight, but Hunt was never in danger of losing his job.

He won’t join the queue of the unemployed soon.

Orlando Pirates

Milutin Sredojevic is another one whose job is secure – for now. After finishing second and qualifying for the CAF Champions League, Pirates have no reason to send him packing.

Micho found the team in tatters and, despite not winning anything, finishing second was an achievement. He can only build from this foundation.

Cape Town City

Coach Benni McCarthy did well in his maiden season and his future should be secure for another season. With luck, he has learnt from his mistakes and will be a better coach next season.

Polokwane City

Bernard Molekwa was found wanting during certain stages of the season as his inexperience showed. City lost many points from a position of winning matches and he needs a strong technical team to help him next season. He was lucky to finish the season still in charge.

Chippa United

Despite being given a permanent stay, Heric will be well aware of the demands of the club.

Chairperson Chippa Mpengesi is trigger-happy when it comes to firing coaches.

Heric should know that the contract he has signed is not worth the paper its written on. Only results will prolong his stay.

Bloemfontein Celtic

Coming to a new league was always going to be difficult for Veselin Jelušic, but he did well under the circumstances. He inherited a struggling side that just survived the drop, but he managed to get things going.

He even reached the final of the Telkom Knockout and the club was never in danger of going down. He should be back with a bang next season.

Read more on:    absa premiership  |  pitso mosimane  |  soccer
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Fixtures
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Maritzburg United v Chippa United, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
Highlands Park v AmaZulu, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Cape Town City, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Bloemfontein Celtic v SuperSport United, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Black Leopards v Mamelodi Sundowns, Thohoyandou Stadium 19:30
Friday, 30 November 2018
Chippa United v AmaZulu, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 20:00
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