Chiefs’ new era to challenge radical fan base

Kaizer Chiefs fans have often crossed the line of acceptable behaviour in voicing their anger over the direction the club has been taking. | BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs fans have often crossed the line of acceptable behaviour in voicing their anger over the direction the club has been taking. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 4, 2024


THE 2024/2025 pre-season preparations have already begun for all DStv Premiership clubs alongside relative movements in the transfer market as well.

As it’s always been the case for many years, whether for good or bad, Kaizer Chiefs have hogged the off-field spotlight with wholesale changes expected at the club.

The club is set to announce a completely new five-man technical team led by Tunisian-born Nasredinne Nabi ahead of the new season.

The 58-year-old mentor, who boasts extensive tactical know-how and experience, is expected to be supported by Fernando da Cruz (assistant coach), Khalil Ben Youssef (second assistant coach), Ilyes Mzoughi (goalkeeper coach), Madji Safi (strength and conditioning coach) and Ayman Makroud (performance analyst).

While these alterations may signal a radical change in how the club has been run for decades, it also raises expectations alongside the fear of the unknown.

The club has been largely operated by the Motaung family since its inception and they have steered it to become the powerhouse entity it is today.

However, South African football has moved on from the streetwise organisation that oversaw the success of the Glamour Boys and arch-rivals Orlando Pirates.

Mamelodi Sundowns have certainly proven that ‘putting your money where your mouth is’ is the right way to go, pairing a boardroom driven by efficiency with a technical team that comes at a price.

Chiefs fans have had to clap hands for their Pretoria-based enemies for nearly a decade now, before following suit.

There have been numerous clashes between the club’s outspoken supporters and management over the direction of the club.

Chiefs fans marched to the club’s Naturena-based facility to hand over their demands in 2021 and their tempers have continued to rise with each trophyless season.

However, the most powerful force in the domestic game will have a task of their own this season as Nabi and his team take a crack at saving what seems to be a sinking ship.

‘Patience’ is probably the most hated word among Chiefs supporters at the moment but it will be required if they are to help their team make any progress.

Nabi is known to be a coach who has an immediate impact wherever he’s been, having won two Tanzanian league titles in his three-year stint with Yanga SC before finishing runner-up to Raja Casablanca in his single season with FAR Rabat last season.

However, Chiefs’ debilitation has been a sad sight to see for many South African football fans and there is no guessing how long it will take to get them up to the point where they are regularly competing for the league.

Having thrown chairs and vegetables at Arthur Zwane as well as Molefi Ntseki in the last two seasons, the Amakhosi faithful will have the spotlight on them as well this campaign as Nabi seeks to herald the dawn of a new era for the club.