Giovanni Solinas (right) will take over match day duties from Patrick Mabedi on Saturday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – The Kaizer Chiefs bosses would’ve breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday after announcing that new coach Giovanni Solinas has received his work permit.

That means that the 50-year-old Italian will be on the bench for the Amakhosi in their opening Absa Premiership clash against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (3pm kickoff). Solinas, who joined Chiefs two weeks ago, has had to watch the last few pre-season games from the stands.

Patrick Mabedi was in charge for the Maize Cup in Orkney, the Shell Helix Ultra Cup at the FNB Stadium and the past weekend’s Mpumalanga Cultural Experience Cup game against Cape Town City at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

“Coach Update: Coach Giovanni Solinas has received his work permit and will be sitting on the bench for the opening fixture of the 2018/19 Absa Premiership season,” Chiefs tweeted on Tuesday.

Football manager Bobby Motaung told the Kaizer Chiefs website: “We are happy that the coach has received his papers. Solinas has been familiarising himself with the set-up, and thanks to now having his work permit, he will have a chance to rally his troops from the bench, starting this weekend against Mamelodi Sundowns.”

Solinas has had two previous coaching gigs in South Africa, both with Free State Stars. But he will be under pressure to deliver from the start for the Amakhosi, who did not win any silverware in competitive matches under previous coach Steve Komphela.

IOL Sport

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