Steve Komphela roped in to find the target at battling Golden Arrows

Steve Komphela is back at Golden Arrows, having previously coached the KZN club in the 2019/20 season. Photo: BackpagePix

Steve Komphela is back at Golden Arrows, having previously coached the KZN club in the 2019/20 season. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Mar 8, 2024


Steve Komphela has never been one to shy away from a challenge.

In his days as a defender, he was renowned for going into tackles some steered clear of.

As a television analyst, he told it as it is – there were no holy cows for him.

He has been the same as a coach, taking jobs at struggling clubs and often acknowledging his and his team’s faults in defeat, albeit often in a language that left many baffled.

It was not surprising, then, that yesterday he accepted a ‘project’ that many an established coach would have avoided – taking on the head coach job at a Golden Arrows side seemingly on a fast track to oblivion.

Having recently parted ways with Moroka Swallows, who had that hit untold lows with players not being paid and some fired, Komphela had swelled the ranks of the unemployed coaches in the country.

It was a far cry from his days as a member of the revered, yet inflated Mamelodi Sundowns coaching trio who were synonymous with success.

He takes over at Arrows from former player Mabhuti Khenyeza, who sunk so deep as a technical head that owner Mato Madlala had to save him from not only drowning himself, but taking the club down with him, too.

Khenyeza flattered to deceive by beginning his tenure with a victory over Kaizer Chiefs back in October, but it was all downhill thereafter with Abafana Bes’thende losing their next 11 matches, the last of which was against the Amakhosi.

The only time they got points was when they were given a 3-0 walkover win, coincidentally over Komphela’s Swallows, when the Dube Birds could not put together a team due to a player strike.

Komphela is now returning to Arrows, having coached them way back in the 2019/20 season with limited success.

He should be able to help them survive relegation and even avoid the play-offs, with Arrows in 12th place on 23 points, 10 more than second-bottom Richards Bay and 12 better than Cape Town Spurs, who are propping up the table.

A seasoned campaigner as a coach, although one with apparent itchy feet – he has coached 10 clubs, three of them on two occasions each in 22 years – Komphela is yet to really make his mark as a coach, and the Arrows project presents him with an opportunity to shine.

And given just how poorly the Lamontville outfit have performed under Khenyeza, Komphela surely can only do better, right?

His first assignment is an away trip to Polokwane City this Sunday (3.30pm kick-off). Win that, and the freedom of Lamontville could well be his.

The club has not said how long the contract is for.