The debate is rife, as can be expected. Today is a historic day for a South African has been appointed to coach at Kaizer Chiefs. In our view, if there was ever going to be a South African to coach the Glamour boys, it was only ever going to be Steve Kompela. These are the five reasons why:
1) Steve Kompela is a former player at Kaizer Chiefs. The decision to appoint him is in keeping with a 40 year old tradition of appointing former players as coaches.
This prestigious list boasts names like Teenage Dladla, Ryder Mofokeng, Abednigo Shaka Ngcobo, Elkiam Khumalo, Jackie Masike, Thomas Johnson and Kaizer Motaung.
2) Though Doctor Khumalo has a bigger and more prominent public profile, Kompela was senior to Khumalo as a player at both club and national team. In fact he was his captain on both occasions. He is more experienced as a coach, having worked at multiple clubs in the PSL since his days as assistant coach to Muhsin Eturgral. Therefore Doctor Khumalo reporting to Steve Kompela makes logical sense.
3) After his stint at the Bafana Bafana as assistant and later caretaker coach, Steve Kompela has worked with what has since become the list of former coach Stuart Baxter’s senior players in Masilela, Khune, Gaxa, Tshabalala, Letsholonyane, Gould etc. Some of who would have come through his mentorship in the junior national teams.
4) In terms of continuity, in his time as assistant coach to Stuart Baxter in the senior national team, Kompela would have been exposed to Baxter’s philosophies, rational and playing methods; which seem to have been implemented successfully at Naturena. Therefore it stands to reason that the appointment of Kompela at Kaizer Chiefs would have been informed more by the premise of continuity. As assistant coach at Kaizer Chiefs, Kompela would have gone through two cycles of transfer windows, during which he was exposed to the kind of rational that informs player acquisitions and Balance Sheet management concerns which are unique to Naturena.
5) Komphela’s appointment means that he is not only charged with the responsibility of defending a record breaking league title amid tumultuous player transfers; he also needs to manage the transition of a team which is made up of a core of players who are currently on the wrong side of thirty. His experience in the national Under 20 and Under 23 teams will certainly come in handy as he bleeds in new players.
The above reasons make Steve Kompela the perfect man for the job. Having said that, it s important to note the following:
Kompela’s appointment means that Kaizer Chiefs looked at the people who had applied and decided on the man who ticked all the boxes in terms of priority KPI’s in as far as management is concerned. Therefore, if we move from the postulate that Kaizer Chiefs sees defending the title, engendering Baxter’s DNA, and bleeding the new crop of players as the old guard retires, then Steve Kompela ticks all the boxes.
On the flip side, if you look at the CV’s of the other coaches who applied, some of whom had extensive experience competing on the African continent in different countries and the Champions’ League. The fact that Kaizer Chiefs went with Kompela means that they the Champions’ League is still not a priority for Kaizer Chiefs; else they would have appointed someone with the requisite experience.
Just a thought
The tempest prognosticator
Themba A Dikgale