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Hiring, firing continues at world’s most turbulent club

Twenty-two men, including former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza, have now coached Chippa United in just about nine years, since the club’s promotion into the South African Premiership in 2012.

Dan Malesela, Head coach, during the Chippa United press conference at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 02, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)
Dan Malesela, Head coach, during the Chippa United press conference at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 02, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

Another one lost his job, at the weekend, two more are coming, one as the head coach and the other as technical advisor.

Chippa United are widely considered to be the world’s most turbulent football club.

Dan “Dance” Malesela, who was fired on Saturday after a 1-5 thrashing at the hands of Maritzburg United, was now on his fourth stint with the club.

He became the 28th coaching appointment, made by the Chilli Boys’ club chairman Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi, in eight-and-a-half seasons in the PSL.

Coach number 29, Siyabulela Gwambi, who was the side’s assistant coach, will take over the Head Coach responsibilities on an interim basis.

Another coach, Belgian gaffer Luc Eyamel has been appointed the technical advisor but that is subject to the club being granted permission by authorities, after SAFA, tried to ban him from working in South Africa.

Last month, Eymael was, however, informed by SAFA he is free to work in South Africa again, after the Belgian coach took up the case with his lawyers.

“The association doesn’t grant permission to enter or exit the country, that is the function of the government. Our position is that we do not deny your right to be employed in South Africa or freedom of association,” read part of the letter sent from SAFA to the Belgian’s lawyers.

“Our objection was based purely on the seriousness of the allegations against you which goes against our statutes. But, now, everything has been clarified and your name is cleared.”

Three men have coached Chippa in the top-flight in more than one stint.

They are Roger Sikhakhane (three times, though he also served as a technical director twice), Vladislav Heric (twice) and now Malesela four times.

An equally mind-blowing stat is that, taking 2020-21 as only a half-season, this averages out at 3.29 coaches per campaign for those eight-and-a-half years in the PSL.

“Chippa United Football Club would like to announce that it has reached an amicable decision to part ways with Dan Malesela, with this decision effective immediately,’’ the club said in a statement released at the weekend.

“We would like to thank Mr. Malesela for his contribution to the Club and to wish him well in his future endeavours.

“Siyabulela Gwambi, the side’s assistance coach, will take over the Head Coach responsibilities on an interim basis.

“We would like to wish him well on this appointment, where the Club objectives are on improving the current DStv Premiership log standings and on also reaching the prestigious Nedbank Cup final.

“The Club has also appointed well-travelled Belgian, Luc Eymael, in a Technical Advisor role where he will play an integral mentorship role for the technical team.

“Mr. Gwambi, who is from Zwide, has been a part of the Club coaching structures since 2015. He was promoted to the senior team having coached in the team’s youth structures and the Diski Challenge team.

“It is the Club intent to have Mr. Eymael forming part of the technical team. This is subject to consultations with our partners, sponsors and supporters. We have also sought necessary clearances from the SA Football Association on his appointment.’’

Masilela returned to Chippa in December last year, having started the new season in charge of TS Galaxy, the team which purchased their PSL license from Highlands Park.

He has been in charge of 16 matches, including the game against the Team of Choice on Saturday, winning five, losing five and drawing six.

Malesela’s first spell in charge of Chippa came in late 2015 when he lasted 13 matches and three months as a caretaker manager.

Apart from his latest stint at the club, his four previous stays as head coach lasted 39, six, three and 19 games.

The Chilli Boys are currently on a run of eight matches without a win in the league since beating bottom-of-the-table Black Leopards on January 23.

The full list of head coaching appointments at Chippa United in the Premiership is:

1. Manqoba Mngqithi Jul 9, 2012 – August 20, 2012

2. Julius Dube (caretaker) August 23, 2012 – September 12, 2012

3. Roger Sikhakhane September 13, 2012 – October 28, 2012

4. Farouk Abrahams October 28, 2012 – January 29, 2013

5. Wilfred Mugeyi January 29, 2013 – April 11, 2013

6. Mark Harrison April 12, 2013 – October 7, 2013

7. Ian Palmer October 8, 2013 – January 27, 2014

8. Vladislav Heric January 29, 2014 – June 30, 2014

9. Kosta Papic July 1, 2014 – September 3, 2014

10. Roger Sikhakhane (caretaker, then full-time) September 4, 2014 – January 5, 2015

11. Ernst Middendorp January 5, 2015 – March 30, 2015

12. Mich d’Avray (caretaker) March 30, 2015 – May 5, 2015

13. Velile “Eddie” Dyaloyi (caretaker) May 5, 2015 – June 30, 2015

14. Roger Sikhakhane July 1, 2015 – December 8, 2015

15. Dan Malesela (caretaker, then full-time) December 8, 2015 – April 27, 2017

16. Mbuyiselo Sambu (caretaker) April 28, 2017 – May 16, 2017

17. Dan Malesela May 17, 2017 – September 14, 2017

18. Teboho Moloi September 14, 2017 – March 3, 2018

19. Vladislav Heric March 3, 2018 – June 30, 2018

20. Dan Malesela July 1, 2018 – August 22, 2018

21. Eric Tinkler August 22, 2018 – December 2, 2018

22. Joel Masutha December 2, 2018 – January 10, 2019

23. Clinton Larsen January 11, 2019 – September 16, 2019

24. Duran Francis (caretaker) September 17, 2019 – September 30, 2019

25. Norman Mapeza October 1, 2019 – March 3, 2020

26. Rulani Mokwena March 4, 2020 – July 5, 2020

27. Lehlohonolo Seema July 6, 2020 – (suspended on December 23, 2020)

28. Dan Malesela December 27, 2020 – April 3, 2021 — The Herald/TimesLive/KickOff.com