JOHANNESBURG - For Doctor Khumalo, age 50 was the perfect age for him to leave Kaizer Chiefs’ nest and start a new life somewhere.
Khumalo, who was announced Baroka’s new technical director for this season on Thursday in Bramley, Johannesburg, said he now feels that he’s gathered enough experience, which will see him not sinking under pressure outside Naturena.
As Bakgaga’s new technical director, ‘16 Valve’ as the football legend is affectionately known, says he’s hoping to avoid a relegation scare similar to the one they survived this past season.
Baroka finished in 15th place on the league standings, where they were forced to fight their way back into the premiership via the PSL promotion play-off route to survive the chop.
“The opportunity came at time where I was looking at where I would like to see myself in the next 10 years or so,” Khumalo said. “I also gave hints during my stay at Chiefs that this was the kind of job I was looking for. Unfortunately, that post was not yet available, hence I accepted this offer when Baroka approached me.
"I took this opportunity because I believe it will help grow me as an individual in the next five years. I believe that I’m ready for the challenge.”
Khumalo added that parting ways with Amakhosi was not an easy decision for him to make. However, he also stated that it was through the blessing of both Kaizer Motaung and his son Bobby, that he was able to go ahead with the whole process.
“Kaizer Chiefs is the only club that I’ve played for here in South Africa,” Khumalo said. “Parting ways with them was never easy. However, I still feel that I needed time to grow myself as a brand. I have to commend both the chairman and his son Bobby for a fruitful meeting I had with them before joining (Baroka). They gave me their blessing.
“Me leaving Chiefs, it’s not about proving myself to anybody,” Khumalo added. “If you do that as an individual, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure. This is a new challenge for me and if things go well there, and we grow Baroka as a brand as we are all hoping to do, then I won’t go back to Chiefs.”