JOHANNESBURG – He may be gone, but Steve Komphela’s impact at Kaizer Chiefs remains. Reserve team coach Arthur Zwane said at the weekend that he owes his success to the man who quit the club last week.
On Saturday, Zwane led his team to the inaugural MultiChoice Diski Shield title, Chiefs beating Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 in the final at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.
“People might not see it now, but what coach Steve Komphela has done for this team in terms of helping the youngsters is far beyond measure,’’ Zwane said as his team helped ease the pain Amakhosi have been feeling after the senior team’s three barren seasons.
“Things might not have worked well for him but what he has done for this team is big. People, might have not have seen not it now but later they’ll definitely see it.’’
‘Jola’s’ admiration of fresh blood Komphela himself had said as much when he left the club in a huff following a violent reaction by the club’s supporters in Durban where Chiefs had been beaten by Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semifinal.
It is the fact he gave a lot of youngsters game time with the senior side that made Komphela believe that he was on the right track. And Zwane seems to agree, citing the reserve side’s success as evidence.
“During the tournament, I said to the boys; this (the Diski Shield competition) will test our true character. I told them this will test whether they are good enough to play for Kaizer Chiefs or whether, they are a bunch of ordinary players.”
“They responded and said “they’ll know us very well coach’’, Zwane continued “I then told them, that’s the kind of attitude I want; the culture of this team is about winning, and I knew we would win (the Diski Shield), because I predicted that playing five games is our chance to showcase what we are made of. I am really glad the boys came to the party.’’
One other thing that made the Glamour Boys’ victory sweet though, was, not losing a single game in the tournament and scoring 15 goals while only conceding just four.
Striker Yusuf Bunting Bunting scored in four successive games, but, Zwane acknowledges that sticking to their style of play was key in their build-up.
“I didn’t see any team that would come and match us (in terms of the style of play),’’ Zwane said. “We have boys who are very quick going forward and who are comfortable on the ball.’’
On Saturday, Sundowns looked like they could make Zwane eat humble pie by taking the lead via Vuyo Mantjie who slotted home a loose ball after Brylon Petersen failed to deal with a header.
But Chiefs responded well, Yusuf Bunting equalising from the spot, Katlego Ntsabeleng putting them 2-1 up and Given Thibedi scoring the third, a penalty.