Chiefs’ mid-table finish just reward for mediocre campaign

Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson could do nothing to halt the Amakhosi’s decline this season as they finished an unacceptable 10th in the Premiership. | BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson could do nothing to halt the Amakhosi’s decline this season as they finished an unacceptable 10th in the Premiership. | BackpagePix

Published May 29, 2024


Independent Newspapers continues our breakdown of the DStv Premiership season club by club. Today, Malibongwe Mdletshe and Obakeng Meletse take a look at the clubs that were not the worst but not great either – just mediocre, which is especially jarring when realising that Kaizer Chiefs are in this group.

Nduduzo Sibiya of Golden Arrows. | BackpagePix


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GOLDEN Arrows got most of their victories during the first round of the season. But things fell apart midway when they amassed 11 of their 12 losses, which brought them into the relegation battle.

Desired change did come, and by the last game of the season they were among the teams chasing the last spot in next season’s MTN8, which they lost out on by one point to Polokwane City.

Best player: Nduduzo Sibiya looks good for it. The 28-year-old finished with five goals alongside Lungelo Nguse but the 28-year-old was also involved in most of their attacking chances. He also captained the side for at least half of the campaign.

Manager’s ins and outs: Vusumuzi Vilakazi and Mabhuti Khenyeza started the season as co-coaches on fire. When Vilakazi left for Chippa United and later Richards Bay FC, Khenyeza remained at the helm, accumulating a horrible 11-game losing streak. The return of Steve Komphela saw the Lamontville-based side string a few wins together.

Pule Mmodi of Kaiser Chiefs. | BackpagePix


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KAIZER Chiefs reached a new low when, on the final day, they were condemned to their worst finish in league history. They will not feature in the MTN8 next season – not after only winning a miserable nine games.

Best player: Chiefs’ standards were horrendous and the underliner is that Pule Mmodi, even with his lowly four goals and the same number of assists, is Amakhosi’s best player this season.

The likes of Edson Castillo started well, while Ashley du Preez came close with four goals, but that is that.

Manager’s ins and outs: Even with the “former Bafana Bafana coach” tag to his name, Molefi Ntseki did not inspire any confidence. Indeed, he was sacked early with Arthur Zwane taking charge but also consequently demoted to the development team, with Cavin Johnson taking over as interim coach for 21 games where he only managed only six wins to end a miserable season.

Riaan Hanamub of AmaZulu. | Backpagepix

11th – AMAZULU

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Usuthu ended a disappointing season as they narrowly missed out on a top-eight finish as only three points separated them from eighth-placed Polokwane City.

The KZN club went into the final day of the season placed ninth on the back of a decent run of results that saw them pick up five points in their last three fixtures. A loss at home against neighbours Golden Arrows derailed them.

Best player: Namibian international Riaan Hanamub had a season to remember, balancing attack and defence nicely. He played the most minutes of any Amazulu player, and had two assists and one goal.

Manager’s ins and outs : Pablo Franco Martin had his first full season but only managed to move them up one spot from 12th.

Justice Chabalala of Chippa United. | BackpagePix


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The Chilli Boys’ promising revival under new management came crumbling down towards the end of the campaign, as their 1-0 loss against Sekhukhune United not only summed up their season but inflicted their third defeat in five matches.

They went into the last day of the season with their top-eight ambitions at the mercy of other results, and ultimately paid the price for a poor run of form at the worst time of the year.

Best player: Captain Justice Chabalala was instrumental in Chippa United conceding less goals than they did last season. The 32 -year-old also scored two goals, with one assist to his name.

Manager’s ins and outs: Kwanele Kopo and Thabo September replaced Morgan Mammila in January after a poor run of results. Mammila’s influence as technical director didn’t make much of a difference in what ended up being a poor season for the Eastern Cape side.

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