After a tumultuous spell last season that led to a trophy-less close for the Kgatleng outfit, the ambitious Mochudi Centre Chiefs lost their winning coach, Mike Sithole to Jwaneng Galaxy. As if that was not enough, the club also lost their multimillion investor, Sayeed Jamali.
In an effort to turn the tables, Magosi appointed little known Zimbabwean born mentor, Bongani Mafu to fine tune the team. But after 5 games into the season, Magosi are a team either suffering from Sithole hangover or battling to replicate last seasons’ form. As pressure continues to pile at the Kgatleng outfit, the team’s management is reported to have given Mafu time to win three more games or face the axe.
The strategy to replace him has already erupted after the Mascom Top 8 jinx grew even more last weekend, and former Mogoditshane Fighters and Gaborone United coach, David Bright is said to be waiting in the wings. The next three games for Magosi are Sankoyo Bush Bucks, Gliport Lions and Township Rollers.
The appointment of Mafu has only guaranteed Chiefs three things; silverware, controversy and division. Although he is seen as a wrecking ball that could create an undeniable impact at Magosi, his well known failure with Zimbabwe’s national under 23 was always going to work against him. To date, Chiefs have few young players in the mould of Allen Ndodela, Thatayaone Ramatlapeng, Senatla Molefe and Ronald Fortune. Mafu has, in all spheres of reasoning failed to coax a winning combination with them, bringing to the fore the issue of his football philosophy.
Sithole implemented attacking football, and since his era Magosi faithful have now adopted it as a philosophy, a philosophy Mafu, seemingly won’t be able to uphold. Either his or the club’s style of play will have to be diluted. His approach to youth players has already come under much scrutiny. Although he has refuted claims that he hinders youth development, Chiefs fans cannot help but be worried about the future of its young players.
It is known for a fact that Mafu does not win trophies and he is infamous for peaking after a short spell. Players are said to have grown tired of his personality and lost motivation to serve him. After two coaches in three years, Chiefs needs stability and hiring Mafu, so far does not suggest that it will come anytime soon.
Football has become a business and despite their cash reserves, Chiefs owners understand the value of reputation and they cannot afford for theirs to be ruined any more than it has. That Mafu does not understand Chiefs culture is not in doubt. The coach struggles with having a prolific striker after the departure of Mara Moloi and the experienced captain Pontsho Moloi. Chiefs have not replaced winger Lemponye Tshireletso and the void left by Tendai Nyumasi is still felt.
Inheriting a squad devoid of motivation was always going to be a tall order for Mafu. Other than failing to match rivals, Township Rollers’ motivation packages, Chiefs managements is learning that Mafu was not the right coach to lead a side that had to start from scratch.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.