Luc Eymael (right), head coach of Free State Stars, and Rantsi Mokoena, the club's general manager, speak at a press conference. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

BETHLEHEM – Free State Stars general manager Rantsi Mokoena expects Luc Eymael to still be in charge of Ea Lla Koto next season, but he has room for disappointment.

The controversial Belgian coach has been tipped to replace Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela, who is staring at three trophyless seasons in charge of the South African cup kings. 

Komphela has to get past Eymael’s Ea Lla Koto on Saturday in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals at Moses Mabhida Stadium to avoid that embarrassment.

“The years that I have been in football have taught me that you can’t run your club based on rumours,” Mokoena said. “That rumour has been doing the rounds for a while now. It’s nothing new as far as Free State Stars is concerned.

READ MORE: Will Kaizer Chiefs' next coach be a foreigner or a local?

“Every time a player does well or a coach does well, then for some reason the media starts talking about him moving long before clubs have approached us. 

“With regard to the coach possibly going to Chiefs or not, only he and Chiefs have the answer to that. We’ve had numerous conversations with the coach, and he is very open to me and I am very open to him. We have a contract that we both respect.”

Mokoena continued: “We know the terms of the contract and what it says.

“The fact that we constantly talk about Free State Stars and we are planning for the future, I am very confident that come the beginning of the 2018/19 season, Luc will be on the bench. But this is football. Every time the window opens, a lot of things happen in football.

"I can say with confidence that Luc will be here. But with the years that I have been in the game, I do have room for disappointment. I am not necessarily saying that he will move or he is moving.

"I also believe that with Chiefs being the team that they are and the relationship that I have with Chiefs, they would be respectful enough to give us a call and say that we are interested in this and that, how do we work our way forward. I wouldn’t read about it in the newspapers.”

READ MORE: Kaizer Chiefs' coach Komphela hints at possible future

The big question then is, does Mokoena trust Eymael to remain loyal to Stars?

“The only person that I trust in this world is my son,” Mokoena said. 

“But I do trust Luc. I trust him in the sense that the time I have spent with him, we have been frank with one another. 

“We sometimes clash with our ideas and we sometimes fight, but it’s all in the name of Free State Stars and bettering ourselves.

"He comes with a lot of European mentality, and sometimes it doesn’t sit well with Africa. But we often find a common ground. 

“What I trust about him is his frankness. I don’t want to reveal too much on why I trust him so much. He has given me enough reasons to trust him.”

Mokoena added: “He’s been approached by other clubs (in the PSL), other than Chiefs, that I know about. And I didn’t hear it from you guys (the media), he told me about it. He would come to my office and say that this guy called me. He has sometimes been phoned in my presence.

"His answer to the many suitors has been consistent, ‘Gentlemen, I am very happy where I am, I want to achieve something here’. We take it as a compliment because it means that he has found a home and is settling in well.”

IOL Sport

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