CAPE TOWN - Whatever people may say about Kgoloko Thobejane, there’s certainly a steely confidence about him. Some may suggest the Baroka FC head coach is arrogant – he’s already on record as saying he’s the “best coach” – but that would be missing the point: what is abundantly evident is his unabashed conviction in his own ability.
The PSL is definitely not short of character when it comes to coaches. If Steve Komphela is the poet and Gavin Hunt the pragmatist, then Thobejane, without doubt, is the philosopher. On Tuesday, after a 1-1 draw with Cape Town City, the Baroka coach refused to entertain any suggestions of relegation: "We don’t want to be safe, we want to be champions.”
Thobejane couldn’t understand why he was asked questions about relegation, when his team was top of the PSL. He weighed in on his coaching approach, talking about “pocket passes” and “window passes”, and stressed that, in his team, before a long pass is played, it has to be preceded by a short pass. If anything, Thobejane knows what he wants. He is clear about how he wants Baroka to play, and his players are obviously on the same page.
More importantly, Thobejane wasn’t prepared to buy into all the negativity around him and his team. He was also dismissive about talk that he didn’t have any coaching certification. What is important is that he has “the gift of football” – and, for him, that is enough.