Kaizer Chiefs, the most popular football club in South Africa despite eight seasons without a trophy, sprang a surprise on Wednesday by appointing local Molefi Ntseki as coach.
Ntseki had an unsuccessful spell as national coach, which culminated in failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and his dismissal with Belgian Hugo Broos taking over. He moved to Chiefs, assuming the position of head of technical and youth development, while a former star at the club, Arthur Zwane, was named head coach at the start of last season.
Zwane was unable the change the fortunes of one of the biggest brands in African football, and he has now reverted to his former role of assistant coach. Chiefs finished fifth in the 2023 league, missing out on qualification for the CAF competitions, and were eliminated in the semi-finals of the two knockout competitions.
“We would like to congratulate coach Ntseki and thank him for accepting this huge responsibility,” Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung told the club website. “It is not an easy task but we believe his experience and knowledge will help us improve and achieve our goals.”
Chiefs draw crowds in excess of 90,000 when they play arch-rivals Orlando Pirates and command huge nationwide support. In Africa, they won the now defunct Cup Winners Cup in 2001 and were surprise finalists in the 2021 CAF Champions League, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt.
The Johannesburg club, whose last success was winning the 2014-2015 league, had been linked with Tunisian coach Nasreddine Nabi. Nabi recently resigned as coach of Young Africans after two hugely successful seasons with the Tanzanian outfit.
Apart from a string of domestic triumphs in the east African country, Yanga also reached the 2023 CAF Confederation Cup final, which they lost on away goals to USM Alger of Algeria.