New Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas chats to his assistant Patrick Mabedi during the Maize Cup on Saturday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

ORKNEY  Kaizer Chiefs caretaker coach Patrick Mabedi says that the arrival of Giovanni Solinas has brought excitement in the Amakhosi camp.

The Italian coach signed a two-year contract with Chiefs with an option for a year.  

He was announced on Friday after a long-drawn-out saga to find Steve Komphela’s replacement. 

Solinas was in the stands in Chiefs’ 2-0 win over Buya Msuthu in the first semi-final of the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup on Saturday. “It’s always nice to have someone new in the family,” Mabedi said. 

“It’s a celebration. The players are looking forward to the future and they are excited. The players have been professional. 

“We are working with big professionals here. The mentality is always good. The coming of the coach is extra motivation.”

Mabedi fielded a team that was a mix of youth and experience in Chiefs’ first competitive match in pre-season. 

The players responded well, but the bumpy pitch didn’t allow the carpet football they tried to play.  

“The conditions were bad, the pitch itself,” Mabedi said. 

“The combinations we were expecting to see were supposed to be better than this. But that wasn’t the case because of the conditions. 

“We can’t complain about that. We emphasised more on seeing the condition of the players since this was our first competitive friendly. 

“But so far so good, we are in the right frame. Our plan is to try a couple of combinations and at the same time see how far we can go with the conditioning that we have loaded on them.

“It doesn’t look quite bad. We are actually in the right direction.”

Chiefs will play in the final of the pre-season friendly at 4pm in a tournament that also features Free State Stars and Chippa United.

“This is all about the future of the team,” Mabedi said. 

“It is important to give the young players a challenge and mix them with experience as you saw. 

“It’s important to guide them and give them the opportunity so that we can see how they can perform with the senior guys. They did well (in the first match).”


IOL Sport

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