The 20 men who walked the plank at Chippa United
JOHANNESBURG – Rhulani Mokwena will astonishingly become the 21st coach, on a full-time and interim basis, to take over the reins at Chippa United, following his appointment on Wednesday morning, since 2011.
Mokwena joins the Chilli Boys until the end of the season after making only one appearance as Orlando Pirates’ assistant coach since the arrival of Josef Zinnbauer. He takes over the reins from Norman Mapeza who resigned on Monday.
Mapeza is said to have filed in his resignation letter following a number of misunderstandings over the duties of the technical staff with some of the players. After accepting Mapeza’s resignation, the Chilli Boys had since announced that then assistant Mbuyiselo Sambu would fill in the void on interim basis.
Two days later, however, Pirates sent out an official club statement, stating that Mokwena, who was beleaguered after an unsuccessful stint as the club’s interim before the arrival of Zinnbauer, had joined the Port-Elizabeth based side as the head coach, while Michael Loftman, the performance analyst, will serve as his assistant.
“Orlando Pirates Football Club can confirm that Assistant Coach Rhulani Mokwena has been seconded to join Absa Premiership outfit Chippa United,” the club said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Mokwena, who recently returned from an overseas trip which saw him visiting some European football clubs for a benchmarking exercise, joins the Chilli Boys until the end of the season.”
The 34-year-old coach has a mountain to climb in his first head coaching job especially having to rescue the Chilli Boys out of the relegation quagmire as they are 11th on the log standings with 25 points, five clear of basement dwellers AmaZulu.
In the bigger scheme of things, Mokwena will become the fourth coaching personnel to take over the hot seat this season at the club after Clinton Larsen, Duran Francis and Mapeza had already had their fair share of the love-hate relationship with “trigger happy” chairman Siviwe Mpengesi.
Below, we look at what Mokwena’s predecessors, Larsen, Francis and Mapeza, had offered to the Chilli Boys before their abrupt departure.
Larsen – five matches
After managing three draws and two losses in the first five matches this season, Larsen joined the string of coaches to be sent packing by Mpengesi in his illustrious career as the Chilli Boys’ chairman.
However, while the axe was expected to fall on Larsen should he fail to deliver, but few would have predicted that feat come that soon especially after the 49-year-old coach rescued the team out of the jaws of relegation late last season.
Francis – two matches
After one draw and one loss in his first two matches at the club, that was enough for Mpengesi to make Francis his second casualty of the season.
The 42-year-old was no stranger to the Chilli Boys’ set-up having served as an assistant coach during the 2010/2011 season. However, his first senior team coaching gig didn’t yield the expected fruits, drawing his first match against Bloemfontein Celtic before losing to Maritzburg United.
Mapeza – 20 matches
The Zimbabwean-born coach appeared to the Chilli Boys’ knight in shining armour after leading the team to eight wins this season, which included a progression to the second round of the Nedbank Cup after eliminating defending champions TS Galaxy in the last 32.
But after failing to see eye-to-eye with the players, the 47-year-old vacated his post on Monday morning, becoming the first coach to leave on his accord after Kosta Papic did so in 2014.
Here is the long-list of the 20 coaching personnel to hold the reins at Chippa since 2011:
Roger Sikhakhane, Manqoba Mngqithi, Julius Dube (caretaker), Farouk Abrahams, Wilfred Mugeyi, Mark Harrison, Ian Palmer, Vladislav Heric, Kosta Papic, Ernst Middendorp, Mich d’Avray (caretaker), Eddie Dyaloyi (caretaker), Dan Malesela, Mbuyiselo Sambu (caretaker), Teboho Moloi, Eric Tinkler, Joel Masutha, Clinton Larsen, Duran Francis (caretaker) and Norman Mapeza.@Mihlalibaleka