Komphela gets Arrows to ‘embrace the pain’

Gladwin Shitolo of Golden Arrows is instructed by new coach Steve Komphela. | BackpagePix

Gladwin Shitolo of Golden Arrows is instructed by new coach Steve Komphela. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 12, 2024


Gladwin Shitolo of Golden Arrows is instructed by new coach Steve Komphela. | BackpagePix

Smiso Msomi

New Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela has refused to take credit for helping the club break their 11-game losing streak with victory against Polokwane City.

The KwaZulu-Natal outfit had been on one of their worst runs in the top flight ahead of their trip to Limpopo, which saw them switch their technical team personnel.

Komphela, who left the club for Mamelodi Sundowns in 2020 and who was recently sacked by Moroka Swallows, was announced as the club’s new head honcho last Thursday.

Stevens Goovadia of Polokwane City and Olwethu Ncube of Golden Arrows contest for possession during their DStv Premiership clash on Sunday. | BackpagePix

With former Abafana Bes’thende coach Mabhuti Khenyeza suspended because of an accumulation of yellow cards, Komphela sat alongside assistant Musa Bilankulu on the bench. Both Komphela and Bilankulu raced down the touchline to the corner to celebrate Nduduzo Sibiya’s decisive strike in Komphela’s first match in charge.

Speaking afterwards, Komphela revealed the minimal contribution he made ahead of the match and he was full of compliments regarding Bilankulu and Khenyeza for the work they had done to prepare Arrows.

“The credit must be given to Mabhuti and Musa,” he insisted.

“They did the work. You can’t do anything in two days, except just to be there, maybe ease the pressure and then try to add a bit of influence in terms of energy.

“You must look like you are relaxed, you are cold on the face but deep down your heart, it is burning and on fire. It’s part of life.”

Komphela took over from Khenyeza after the club had dropped out of the top eight places in the Premiership standings. Having held second spot on the log earlier in the season, Arrows’ downward spiral was bizarre.

The ex-Sundowns mentor revealed the motivational injection he used to fire up his players for their match against Rise and Shine.

“The clip we played for them before we left the meeting room was about pain and growth.

“We were saying, what is the cost of a cup of coffee? The cost of a cup of coffee is about R30 but what do you pay for growth?

“Pain is the cost of growth.”

He added: “No team in the league has grown like this team because of the pain they went through. Sometimes we tend to not want to pay the price and as a result, we can’t get the commodity. The commodity is the success, the cost for success is pain.

“That was the theme of our discussion and then they embraced the theme, embraced the pain and said, ‘you know what? We have grown and we are better people than who we are’.”

Komphela will now have just over 20 days to embed his demands and style into the Arrows set-up before facing Richards Bay, with the Nedbank Cup taking place this week and an international break thereafter.