SuperSport United coach, Kaitano Tembo, today reaches a century of games in charge. And, the club’s first coach in the PSL era, Shane McGregor, has praised the stability at Matsatsantsa.
Of all the four clubs — including Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns — that have been forever present in the top-flight through the PSL era, SuperSport have made the least number of coaching changes, with Tembo only their 10th mentor.
Tembo was appointed as head coach on 1 July 2018, and prior to that had been caretaker coach after taking over from Eric Tinker, in March of the same year. The former Zimbabwe international’s 100th game in charge is away at Cape Town City this afternoon at 3pm.
“This is obviously down to the way the club recruits their coaches. They look for someone who will fit into their style and their thinking of how the game should be played which shows a lot of forward thinking,” McGregor, who was coach when they were still known as Pretoria City, told KickOff.com.
“They give coaches a chance and that is important. This is a club that doesn’t just get rid of its coaches.”
Since arriving at the Tshwane outfit from Seven Stars as a player in June 1998 under then coach Roy Matthews, ‘’Ngwenya’’ has never left the club.
He retired as a player in 2006 and has since worked in various capacities within the club from being a junior coach, through to being an assistant and ultimately head coach.
As a player he won the BOB Save Super Bowl (1999), SAA Supa 8 (2004) and ABSA Cup (2005) as a player and as a coach has delivered the MTN8.
He finished sixth in his first full season in charge in 2018/19 and then went up to fifth last season, and to continue improving he will have to elevate Matsatsantsa into the top four this term.
Only Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt have been at the helm longer than the 50 year-old tactician, who has now spent almost half of his life at the club.
Matsatsantsa looked set to challenge Mamelodi Sundowns in the race for the DStv Premiership title earlier this season, but have dropped to third after a dip in form.
SuperSport United have not won a league game in their last five outings, have drifted behind Mamelodi Sundowns, who have three matches in hand over their Pretoria rivals.
“The lack of depth is to blame for our dip in form. We have a small squad and many young players on the team. We played many games and fatigue crept in. The young boys could not take the pressure of playing week in and week out,” he told the Sowetan.
“Games have been coming in thick and fast and the young players could not cope. However, we are ready for a strong finish. The challenge is also on other teams trying to put pressure on Sundowns.
“They have not lost a game and keep on collecting points. We do not know what will happen between now and then. We have to keep on working hard and anything can still happen.”
Meanwhile, former Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet could make his way back to Bafana Bafana when the country begin their journey to Qatar for the World Cup, against Zimbabwe, in Harare, in June.
Keet is back in action after signing with GladAfrica Championship outfit Cape United FC on a short-term contract until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The 31-year-old goalkeeper has joined United as a free-agent after parting ways with Belgian Pro League side OH Leuven in October last year, having trained with the team for several weeks.
He lost his place in the last Bafana squad due to being unattached and out of competitive action for a number of months, but could now work his way back into the team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in June under the new coach, who is still to be decided.
“Darren Keet is a class act. He also brings a lot of experience to the club after playing in Europe. He has signed until the end of the season,” De Sa told KickOff.com.
Umoya coach Roger De Sa has also confirmed the signing of former Polokwane City midfielder Tshepo Matsemela to bolster their aspirations for promotion to DStv Premiership next season.
“We have also signed Jomo [Matsemela] to bolster our midfield.” — KickOff/The Sowetan