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Arthur Zwane says Kaizer Chiefs will be better served by an SA coach

09 May 2022 - 17:05
Kaizer Chiefs co-coaches Dillon Sheppard and Arthur Zwane have won plaudits for the entertaining and attacking brand of football played under them.
Kaizer Chiefs co-coaches Dillon Sheppard and Arthur Zwane have won plaudits for the entertaining and attacking brand of football played under them.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs caretaker co-coach Arthur Zwane believes the club will be in better hands under a local coach who understands SA players and their backgrounds.

“We are dealing with sensitive issues in this country and a lot of people take those things for granted,” the former Amakhosi winger said.

“They don’t know where these boys come from. You’re dealing with players who have got issues with their ancestors and some people take it for granted, because they don’t have that background and experience.

“They’ll always say, 'No, this boy is a problem', and all that. That’s why I am saying it is important to understand the culture of the players, as a coach.

“I don’t have a problem with someone who comes from Europe as long as they adapt and not want to change the way we do things.”

Zwane said it has made him feel special having many people supporting him and wishing him success at Naturena.

“It’s not often where you will have so many people supporting you and wishing you to succeed. I’m grateful to God and thankful to the club,” Zwane said after he and co-coach Dillon Sheppard led Chiefs to a come-from-behind 1-1 DStv Premiership draw against Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Sunday.

Zwane and Sheppard were appointed last month to replace fired Stuart Baxter.

They started with four successive defeats, but pulled the slide back with a home win over Marumo Gallants last week and should have put Sundowns away on Sunday.

They have done so with the swag and glamour as they have Chiefs playing an entertaining and attacking brand of football, which has won plaudits from Gallants coach Dan “Dance” Malesela and Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.

Zwane has pronounced himself ready to take over Chiefs' hot seat on a permanent basis if called upon. He said whoever will be leading the team next season must fit the Chiefs philosophy.

“Whether somebody [else] is going to come in, still Kaizer Chiefs comes first. I still believe we should have a way of playing as a club and whoever is going to come in is not going to come and change things.

“Yes, we are on the right track at the moment and I am getting the support from everyone, from the board of directors to people who are cleaning.”

Former Bafana Bafana left midfield star Sheppard has played a quiet role as Zwane takes press conferences and is more in the limelight, but Zwane said his co-coach deserves equal credit.

“We will keep working hard, myself and 'Sheppy'. I should not be taking credit alone.

“As to who is going to be coming next season, we will be working very hard to make sure we get the right players to come in.

“Whether I will be the head coach or someone is going to come in, we are on the right track right now and it is not going to change.”

Chiefs, who are in fourth place on 43 points with two matches remaining, play Sekhukhune United at Ellis Park on Saturday and close their campaign with a home clash against relegation-threatened Swallows FC on May 21.

Cape Town City (48 points) looks to have a solid grip on second place that would see them qualify for next season's Caf Champions League. Chiefs, though, still have a realistic chance to dislodge third-placed Royal AM, on 45 points and with three matches remaining, to qualify for the Confederation Cup.

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