CAPE TOWN – Finally, it has been confirmed. After weeks of rumours and uncertainty, Doctor Khumalo will be leaving Baroka FC.
The move was announced by Baroka via their Twitter account, with a statement from club chief executive Morgan Mammila.
Khumalo helped turn things around at Bakgaga, where he was the technical director and even stand-in head coach at times since moving to Limpopo in August last year.
With Kgoloko Thobejane still as the head coach, Khumalo was appointed as the technical director. Thobejane was eventually replaced by Macdonald Makhubedu, who was also let go later in the season, which saw Khumalo take charge until the end of the campaign.
They managed to just avoid the relegation playoffs by finishing in 14th position on the Premiership log.
Now that Wedson Nyirenda has been brought in as the new man in charge, there is no place for Khumalo.
“After months of speculation, Doctor Khumalo and Baroka FC have finally agreed to go their separate ways. We have recently acquired the services of a head coach, and the club had to consider doing away with the position of Technical Director in order to maintain our healthy financial state,” Mammila said.
“We can’t discount the fact that Doctor Khumalo has given the club value we never had, and we will forever be grateful to him. It is in that spirit to thank him for choosing us when he left Kaizer Chiefs a year ago.
“As Baroka Football Club, we would like to wish Doctor Khumalo all the best in his future endeavours.”
But there have ongoing reports that Khumalo – who celebrated his 51st birthday on Tuesday – could make a dramatic return to his “home” club Kaizer Chiefs, and his departure from Baroka may pave the way for such a move.
Adding further fuel to that fire is the fact that Stuart Baxter has also been linked with Chiefs. Football manager Bobby Motaung said that “it’s good that we are linked to top coaches” when asked about Baxter this week.
Khumalo was the assistant coach to Baxter in his previous stint in charge of the Amakhosi, when they won two league titles in three years before the British mentor went back to the national team.
“He is still contracted to Bafana Bafana, isn’t he? He is also one of the top coaches. He was with us. We know his value and his quality. He is a high-profiled coach as well. He falls within the category,” Motaung said.