It is hard to believe that Steve Komphela is still searching for his first piece of silverware in his coaching career, although he is not bothered by his barren run.
His coaching journey started in 2002 when he steered the ship of Manning Rangers.
Komphela boasts 17 years of experience on his CV, yet he is waiting for his maiden triumph, but the incumbent Lamontville Golden Arrows boss is not obsessed about winning trophies.
“Do you guys remember that I won (the Cosafa Cup) when I was at Under-20. I seriously don’t look at these things. I swear to God, I don’t pay too much attention to these things,” he said.
“This other day, I spoke with one of the top coaches and you won’t believe what he said - an accomplished coach and highly successful. He said to me, it is amazing how South Africans look at football. You play four matches in the MTN8, win it and put in a medal there and you are top coach.”
As a novice with Rangers, Komphela reached his first cup final but lost to Moroka Swallows in the Absa Cup final.
Komphela didn’t win any trophies during his spells with Maritzburg United and Free State Stars. Even at Platinum Stars he left empty-handed.
“It is a choice of saying you want a medal to be a shining star and then you lose the rest of the other things that made the best out of humanity. I don’t care about these things!
“But okay, some might say you lack ambition and all that. My focus in terms of life and priorities is different. When you win, it is okay. I even forget. I wouldn’t even tell you. I really don’t care about these things. They might have come and gone but I appreciate the most,” Komphela said.
When Komphela joined Kaizer Chiefs as head coach in 2014, there was huge expectation. The enthusiasm and will to win was there.
Komphela lost two finals on the trot in the space of five months. Amakhosi suffered a 1-0 loss against Ajax Cape Town in the MTN8 final in Port Elizabeth.
A few months later they were dismantled by Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout final.
“There was a kid that came to training when I was with coach Mandla Ncikazi (his assistant coach). He comes from Pretoria. His name is Manelo. I met this kid when I was at Manning Rangers many years back.
“He has now grown up and he works at the Department of Sports and Recreation. I had forgotten him. This guy comes to me and says, ‘coach, do you still remember me?’ And I replied, ‘remind me’.
“It was a little bit embarrassing but I could tell that I know this guy. He said, ‘coach, I was working with you at Manning Rangers and you changed my life’. The guy was crying,” Komphela said.
“When that happens, you realise that you’ve changed the man’s life. You’ve given an opportunity to a family of six or seven. You’ve done more than the medal that is hanging on the wall, the hole which might crack anytime and collapse, when an earthquake hits but the man who is consolidated lives forever.
“Even when an earthquake hits, that man has survival skills - that’s my responsibility.
* Golden Arrows host Maritzburg United in a KwaZulu-Natal derby today (3pm kick-off).