Nabi set to ring the changes at Chiefs

Nasreddine Nabi. | BackpagePix

Nasreddine Nabi. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 3, 2024


Smiso Msomi

The imminent announcement of Nasreddine Nabi as the new Kaizer Chiefs coach is expected to end the misery of players who are uncertain about their fate.

The 58-year-old coach is expected to touch down on South African soil in the coming days after finishing his duties at Moroccan club AS Far Rabat on Monday.

Initial reports that the Throne Cup final might be delayed for up to 10 days after the death in Morocco on Saturday of the mother of King Mohammed V, Lalla Latifa Amahzoune, did not come to fruition and the match went ahead as planned.

The Tunisian tactician saw his team fall at the feet of Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca and lost his final game in charge. However, he will not have much time to mourn that defeat as proceedings await him at Naturena.

After the arrivals of Fernando da Cruz, the first assistant to Nabi, and goalkeeper coach Ilyes Mzoughi two weeks ago, former Raja Athletic Club and Wydad Athletic Club fitness coach Majdi Safi has also entered the club’s village.

The club also confirmed the release of five players and veteran goalkeeper coach Rainer Dinkelacker.

With pre-season already under way under the watchful eye of Da Cruz, many of the club’s players remain unsure whether they will fall part of Nabi’s new project at the club.

Nabi, a back-to-back Tanzanian league champion with Yanga in 2022 and 2023, employs a specific brand of football and has adjusted his squad to fit the profiles he requires on the field.

The experienced group of Keagan Dolly, Siyethemba Sithebe, Njabulo Ngcobo and Sifiso Hlanti have already been shown the door and club sources indicate that more senior players are at the mercy of the chop.

Fan favourite and long-serving goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is the first name that pops up when one thinks about the uncertainty at Chiefs.

The 37-year-old shot-stopper has watched from the sidelines for the better part of the past three or so seasons and was handed a one-year contract at the start of last season, which ended this month.

The remaining players all have contracts that extend beyond this year, and if they are to be sacked, would be released by the club by choice and not because their contracts have expired.

Nabi is expected to make numerous changes to the squad set-up as he looks to usher in his rein at the club.

Chiefs are already linked with the likes of striker Tumisang Orebonye from Botswana, who played under Nabi at Rabat last season.

With the rumour mill swirling and names of potential signings touted ahead of the new season, Nabi’s arrival at Chiefs this week will confirm the futures of those still with the club.