Doctor Khumalo turns down coaching job at Baroka FC
Khumalo turns down coaching position at Limpopo club
Doctor Khumalo has turned down an offer to take over the coaching reigns at Baroka Football Club.
Khumalo, who was hired by the Limpopo club as a technical director in August last year, told the Sunday Times that he declined to step into the space created by the suspension of Kgoloko Thobejane because he doesn't "want to rise at the expense of other people".
In early February the Baroka club suspended its head coach, Thobejane, who it has been alleged was drinking while in the team bus.
The incident is said to have happened when the Limpopo side was on a road trip returning from a 2-0 defeat by Free State Stars in a Premier Soccer League match in Goble Park in Bethlehem.
When officialdom inquired whether he would be interested in the job if it were made avaliable to him, the 50-year-old Khumalo said he was not interested.
"They did ask me to take over after I was informed about what allegedly happened - because I was not aware of it. I don't want to rise at the expense of other people.
"This is a serious matter. I wish we could reverse the whole thing. He [Thobejane] was a fun guy to work with. I was learning something from him and he was learning something from me.
A new dawn for me
"I felt it would be proper for the assistant coach to be given the opportunity."
The void has been filled by assistant coach MacDonald Makhubedu, who is being aided by Thoka Matsimela, the head coach of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge team.
Khumalo did not rule out taking the Baroka hot seat if it was offered under different conditions.
"I didn't come here to boot anyone out from a job. If it is offered because there is a vacancy, then we can talk," he said.
"That way I'm starting on a clean slate, in a new season it would be great. In that regard it would be a new season, a new beginning and a new dawn for me.
"As a qualified coach it would be proper to consider that post because I would not be trampling on someone's toes."
Khumalo has levels one, two and three coaching badges from the South African Football Association (Safa), an English Football Association licence as well as the Uefa B licence obtained through the German Football Association.
He is also a coaching instructor with Safa.
The head coach job will not be a completely new challenge for him.
He served a short stint as co-caretaker head coach alongside Donald "Ace" Khuse when Kaizer Chiefs suspended Muhsin Ertugral in 2003.
Having cut his coaching teeth with the Chiefs under-17 development team, Khumalo worked as an assistant coach to Ertugral.
He was second-in-command to incumbent Steve Komphela until his move to Baroka six months ago.
He elevated himself to legendary status at the club as a star player who made his debut under Ted Dumitru in 1987.
He went on to turn out 397 times in the gold and black colours during a stellar 17- year stay punctuated by spells at Ferro Carril Oeste of Argentina as well as Columbus Crew of the Major League Soccer of the United States.
Such is the eternal love he inspires in the army of Amakhosi faithful that Chiefs fans mobbed him and called for him to "come back home" after Baroka came from behind to beat Chiefs 2-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in September.
Thobejane will appear before the club's disciplinary committee next week to defend himself on why he shouldn't be fired after allegedly drinking on the team bus after the 2-0 loss to Free State Stars.
Thobejane has said he will represent himself in the hearing.