'Chippa is the only one who offers me jobs' - Dan Malesela wants the job despite being fired three times

03 March 2020 - 12:49 By Marc Strydom
Dan Malesela is open for a return to Chippa United - a club that fired him unceremoniously in August 2018.
Dan Malesela is open for a return to Chippa United - a club that fired him unceremoniously in August 2018.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Former Chippa United coach Dan Malesela has said that if the notoriously fickle Port Elizabeth club come calling for his services again, he will take the job.

This despite Malesela, a few months after his previous acrimonious departure from the Port Elizabeth-based club in August 2018, having said he never wanted “to talk about Chippa any more”.

Chippa head coach Norman Mapeza resigned on Monday, meaning the club are now seeking a fourth coach for the 2019-20 season.

Clinton Larsen started the campaign and was replaced by caretaker Duran Francis in September, who was replaced in early October by Mapeza.

Malesela’s name has been linked to the vacant post of the 12th-placed Absa Premiership team, whose owner, Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi, is notoriously trigger-happy firing and hiring coaches.

Asked by TimesLIVE on Tuesday if he would consider a fourth stint back at the club, Malesela, replied: “Ja, I will.”

The 1980s Orlando Pirates star explained: “I’ve had a deep think about the whole thing. I’ve said that in the PSL Chippa [Mpengesi] is the only one who offers me jobs all the time. So why not?

“Chippa is the only one who has stood out. So you would surely say that if they asked you to come you will surely go.”

Malesela left GladAfrica Championship team TS Galaxy, where he won the Nedbank Cup, beating Kaizer Chiefs in the final in May 2019, in early February.

Mapeza, after initial success guiding Chippa out of a shocking start to the season, where they were rooted in bottom place and had not won in their first seven league matches when the former Zimbabwe international took over, had seen the results harder to come by.

In his last 10 league and cup matches Chippa had won three, drawn two and lost five.

In the league, though, United’s form was steady, with two defeats, two draws and two victories in their last six games.

Chippa beat AmaZulu 1-0 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

Mapeza’s departure suggests the coach experienced challenges other than just the team’s form on the field.

Malesela said, with his inside knowledge of how the Chilli Boys operate as a club, he believes he can overcome such challenges, if they exist.

“He’s got his own thinking and I’ve got my own thinking. I wouldn’t want to entertain what he has seen as challenges.

“I see my own challenges. Somebody else’s problems are not mine.

“I will always have my own challenges that I will find, and I will have to deal with those.”

Malesela was assistant-coach at Chippa from December 2015. 

He was first promoted to caretaker head coach in the same month, then to full-time head coach in late March 2016, but within a month of that was put on “special leave” in late April, and subsequently fired.

He was reappointed coach in May 2017 and was fired in September of that year.

Malesela was hired as the head coach for the 2018-19 season in July 2018, and oversaw the preseason, but was fired again three matches into the campaign, in August 2018.

In November 2018, at a press conference, then-Galaxy coach Malesela said: “I’ll be honest with you‚ I promised myself that I would never ever talk about Chippa any more.

“I’ve got reasons‚ because then I might not find closure with what happened.”

Chippa’s next match is against sixth-placed Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.