JOHANNESBURG - With Kaizer Chiefs' search for a new coach is still ongoing, Patrick Mabedi and Arthur Zwane are in charge of the sharpening the squad up for the incoming boss.
How taking over the team just before the new season or possibly deep into it will impact on the new man's ability to produce positive results is a matter of conjecture. And with talk rife that the man who will replace Steve Komphela could be Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter, missing out on pre-season could not be such a train smash given that the Brit has previously worked at the club.
Amakhosi legend Donald Ace Khuse is actually of the view that there will be little impact on the new man, no matter who it will be. “It is not late. It is never too late. He will get an entire season to work with the guys. Even six weeks of pre-season is not enough," Khuse said.
The former midfield maestro has called on his club and its supporters to not expect too much too soon from the new man. "He must be given the first season to settle and instil his philosophy. I don’t think it is too late for Chiefs to get a good coach,“ said Khuse who is now coaching the club's Under 17 side.
Khuse has huge respect for Baxter who won two league titles with the club in three seasons and four trophies in all. Chiefs haven’t captured any silverware since his departure. “Chiefs want to go for continuity. They haven’t changed much in their set up," Khuse said.
"Patrick Mabedi was in charge before the season ended and he is still there. I don’t think they will go for a local coach. The guys will respect Stuart if they do go for him. I’m confident he can help the team do well. He brought trophies during his first spell here. He is a good coach and I respect him."
Chiefs' biggest signing ahead of the new season has been that of Khama Billiat from Mamelodi Sundowns and Khuse expects lots from the Zimbabwean superstar. “Chiefs and Sundowns are two different teams. The pressure is huge at Chiefs. I played for both teams and I know what I’m talking about," he said.
"The expectations from the fans are not the same. How his new teammates will welcome him will also determine his destiny. I have no doubt he will get good support. I hope he will be able to handle the pressure and help us. For me, he is a good signing. We needed somebody who can score goals. Last season we lacked a natural goal scorer like Khama.“
Khuse, who is one of few players to have played for the country's big three - he also turned out for Orlando Pirates, has served in different positions during his time with Amakhosi and wants local coaches to be given opportunities.
“Local coaches must be given time and a fair chance. They must be supported and our football will get better if more local coaches are given opportunities. The legends are neglected. I’m not saying everyone who is a legend must be given an opportunity to coach but those who have acquired their coaching badges need a chance. These people know the game," he explained.
Khuse called on South African club bosses to exercise some patience when it comes to local coaches. “They can’t say because Steve failed, I will also fail. Steve tried his best and it didn’t work out," he said.
"Let them give me a chance and see whether I will fail or not. They are doing the same with the overseas coaches. An overseas coach gets given a job and fails but he will go for another one and get it. They (club bosses) must apply the same for local coaches. I haven’t applied for the job. I can’t apply. If they feel I can do the job they must appoint me. I know what is expected at Chiefs. I’ve been here for a while."