Kaitano Tembo has retained his position after taking over as interim coach at SuperSport United following Eric Tinkler's departure last season. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - SuperSport United have lined up two options should Kaitano Tembo fail in his stint as a head coach. Tembo took over the reigns as an interim coach following the departure of Eric Tinkler last season. The Zimbabwean helped Matsatsantsa A Pitori to avoid relegation and the club rewarded him with the head coaching position for his efforts.

Tembo has been with the three-time Absa Premiership champions for many years, having played for them and then moving on to join the technical team as an assistant upon his retirement. The club’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO),  Stan Matthews, admitted that they have faith on Tembo but they do have other options should he not succeed.

“We haven’t gone far in our search for a new coach. But we’ve decided to give Kaitano a chance to see how will he do. We want to give him the start of the season. We had a lot of guys who were interested in the job. We’ve got options if Kaitano doesn’t do well. I’ve spoken to two coaches. We had good talks with them but for now we will give Kaitano a chance,” Matthews explained.

The Team of Choice have tried a number of coaches since multiple championship winner Gavin Hunt left the club in 2013. Hunt enjoyed a successful tenure there and won an unprecedented three successive league championships. In the five years since, SuperSport have had six different coaches at the helm. They have hired the likes of Cavin Johnson, Tembo (as an interim), Gordon Igesund, Stuart Baxter and Eric Tinkler.

Such was the high standard that Hunt set for the club that none of his successors could match him and thus none of them stayed in the post as long as the former Hellenic defender who served Matsatsantsa for a massive six years. 

Matthews explained that it is pretty tough to acquire the services of a foreign coach. “It is difficult because there are a lot of challenges. You have to face the work permit issues. It is a high risk, especially in a new environment.”

SuperSport, having snuck into the top eight last season, are aiming for a top four finish this time around. To that effect they have bolstered their squad with the likes of James Keene, Washington Arubi and Bongani Khumalo. The club released Tefu Mashamaite and Kingston Nkhatha while Prince Dube is likely to go on loan. He is currently on trial with Maritzburg United.

Tembo and his troops will open their 2018/19 Absa Premiership campaign with a clash away to Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. They will then host AmaZulu at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday. Matsatsantsa won the MTN8 title last season and face off against Orlando Pirates on August 8 in the first step towards the defence of their title.

The Star

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter