JOHANNESBURG. — Kaitano Tembo might only be new to the tough world of being a head coach, but he is already one of the longest-serving coaches in the South African Premiership.
That probably highlights the coaching merry-go-round in Super Diski that only eight, or half, of the tacticians at clubs have been in their position longer than nine months.
Coaches coming, and going at Premier Soccer League clubs, has long been the norm, but this year clubs that are struggling have been quick to axe the men in charge.
In fact, six of the coaches have only been in their roles for three months or less, with January a particularly tough time for tacticians.
The longest serving coach in the top-flight is Pitso Mosimane at Mamelodi Sundowns, who has been with the cub for seven years and three months, with plenty of success during his tenure including the 2016 CAF Champions League.
The second longest-serving is BidVest Wits’ Gavin Hunt at six years and 10 months, and he has also seen some notable highest, including an Absa Premiership title win in the 2016/17 campaign.
Next on the list is Steve Barker, who has been with Stellenbosch FC for two years and nine months, followed by the tenure of Owen da Gama at Highlands Park (two years and six months).
Tembo (SuperSport United), Ernst Middendorp (Kaizer Chiefs), Steve Komphela (Lamontville Golden Arrows) and Eric Tinkler (Maritzburg United) are the only other coaches to be in their jobs longer than a year.
SuperSport United chief executive, Stan Matthews, has confirmed the club were looking to move out of Lucas Moripe Stadium to a more suitable home ground.
Caledonian Stadium, Sinaba Stadium, Makhulong Stadium and Mpumalanga Black Aces’ former home Puma Rugby Stadium in Mpumalanga province are the four venues that have been earmarked by Matsatsantsa.
Playing their home games at Puma Rugby Stadium in Witbank could prove to be a great decision for United bosses due to the football-starved community of Emalahleni and Middelburg, judging by the fact that the stadium was always full during the Black Aces days.
Currently only the pitch there need some work. The stadium is currently used by lower divisions clubs Witbank Spurs, Bakone and Witbank City Lads, who each pay R700 per match.
“I don’t want to ever be disrespectful to Tshwane, it’s been our home you know, it’s a place where we’ve been tremendously successful for over the past 16 years, but the truth is that Lucas Moripe isn’t the right stadium for us,” Matthews told KickOff.com.
“We are a small club and with five-and-a-half-thousand fans. We’ve got an average fan base of around about 6 000 per game, and we don’t need to play in a 30 000-seater stadium.
“When we look at teams like Highlands Park that are playing at Makhulong, they are three years in the PSL and they are getting the same size crowd as us and the vibe is so nice.
“We have the same size crowd with no vibe, why? Because we are playing in a 30 000-seater stadium.
It doesn’t create the atmosphere that you are looking for, and the athletics track in between you and the field, it’s not ideal for us.
“Caledonian Stadium would be ideal for us, but if we can’t get a Caledonian-type stadium in Tshwane, I’ll look where I can find a stadium that is 8 000-seater.
For us to have a more intimidating atmosphere, to have a more vibrant atmosphere, we need a smaller stadium.
“My top five gates this year, three of them were in Mbombela.
If that means exploring other options, whether it’s Sinaba, whether it’s Witbank, there’s a few options that are up, we can no longer ignore them as a football club.’’ — SuperSport/KickOff.
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