Hapless coaches incur panicky club owners’ wrath

Former Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen

Former Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen, file photo

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) SIX games into the 30-match campaign, the trigger-happiness attitude among South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) club owners have returned to haunt premiership.

Former AmaZulu FC head coach Cavin Johnson

Former AmaZulu FC head coach Cavin Johnson

The axe has already claimed the scalp of three coaches following their sides indifferent start to the season.

Perennial relegation fighters, Black Leopards (Limpopo province), are the latest to pull the trigger, with Frenchman Lionel Soccoia, shown the exit door three months after his appointment at Lidoda Duvha head coach.

Former Black Leopards coach Lionel Soccoia, file photo

Former Black Leopards coach Lionel Soccoia, file photo

The panic button was pressed days after serial dismissers, Chippa United (Eastern Cape province), and AmaZulu (KwaZulu Natal) parted ways with their coaches, Clinton Larsen and Cavin Johnson, respectively, after “amicable” agreements.

The expression is popular euphemism in a league which is the most lucrative in the continent but has a growing reputation as one of the most hostile for coaches.

AmaZulu are bottom of the 16-team log with no win at the time of going to press. Chippa are also winless, as are Maritzburg United and newcomers Stellenbosch. Leopards have a single win.

With impatient club executives’ propensity to wield the axe on coaches when results are not forthcoming, it points to nervous times for Maritzburg’s Eric Tinkler and Stellenbosch’s Steve Barker.

One coach who certainly does not have such fears is Zlatko Krmpotić, the Serbian-born mentor whose unfashionable Polokwane City is at the top of the log.

The latest in a set of an impressive set of results by Rise and Shine is a 3-1 home win over MTN 8 finalists Supersport United. Polokwane are on 13 points, one more than second-placed Bidvest Wits.

Current form suggests Polokwane will again be the surprise packages following their fifth-place finish last season under another Serbian, Jozef Vukusic, who quit the club at the end of last season and has resurfaced at AmaZulu to succeed Johnson.

– CAJ News

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