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Chiefs assistant coach Sheppard has deep understanding with coach Zwane

27 May 2022 - 13:26 By SITHEMBISO DINDI
Dillon Sheppard, assistant coach of Kaizer Chiefs.
Dillon Sheppard, assistant coach of Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Dillon Sheppard believes the synergy and relationship beyond football between him and head coach Arthur Zwane will be a big factor in their quest to reawaken the sleeping giant.

The former Bafana Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder has been given a three-year deal to work with Zwane in a tough mission to bring back glory days at Naturena.

The two have impressed management whenever they have been given a chance to lead the club in trying times.

The first time they combined to lead the team was after the sacking of coach Gavin Hunt towards the end of the 2020/21 season.

Zwane and Sheppard were again put in the hot seat when the club parted ways with Stuart Baxter with four games to play before the end of the recently finished season.

“There’s a huge synergy between coach Arthur and myself. We are very, very close. We spend 12 hours every day when we are with the first team, we get to the academy, we are involved in the process with the kids at school, we are involved in the process of their training,” Sheppard said.

“We always talk about development and grassroots. I was in a project that brought up players such as Steven Pienaar and all these players. That’s where our passion is and that’s where synergy comes from.

“We share the philosophy and that’s why maybe we are closely aligned because we spend a lot of time discussing football. We are very close and that’s even before we talk about the football side,” said the former Bidvest Wits player and assistant coach.

Apart from the strong trust they share, Sheppard, 43, believes the fact that he and Zwane, 48, are young coaches will make the latter more receptive compared to the senior coaches.

“We have trust, which is important. You’ve got to have trust that when he leads the process, he allows me to step in, the other people to step in from the technical team to take control,” Sheppard said.

“Sometimes it’s very tough on senior coaches who have had the reins over the years. They like to control quite a lot. Maybe that’s also a little different between young and old coaches, I’m not sure.”


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