Supersport United has been quick to dismiss reports of a reunion with former coach Gavin Hunt who will be a free agent next season following TTM’s purchase of Bidvest Wits’ ABSA Premiership status in recent weeks.
Information gathered by this publication indicates that Supersport’s Stanley Matthews was quoted by South African publication KickOff stating that, they are committed to the current coach, Kaitano Tembo who they believe is building a solid project as the team is ranked third on the ABSA Premiership log. A level they feel is close to their target of challenging for trophies.
In the depth of it, Tembo signed Zebras defender named Thatayaone Ditlhokwe in the January transfer window and he had included the Botswana national team captain in the last few games before the South African lockdown. The Zimbabwean coach believes in young players and Ditlhokwe is said to have the leadership qualities needed by Tembo.
A change of coaches would hinder Ditlhokwe’s gradual integration into the Supersport United first team. Adding to that, many Zebras players struggled in South Africa following coaching changes, a case in point was Kekaetswe Mara Moloi, Galabgwe Moyana and Ntesang Simanyana who in their own right struggled to keep up after Duncan Lechesa was fired by Polokwane City in the 2013/2014 season. Of which they eventually left after less than a full year in South Africa.
Another example of coaching changes affecting Zebras players was in 2014 when Alan Freese replaced Cavin Johnson at Platinum Stars, this resulted in Mogakolodi Ngele being dropped on several occasions. Thabang Sesinyi also saw limited chances when Peter Butler left Platinum Stars.
However, history suggests that new coaches come with different ideas, and that present a challenge for foreign players as they are likely to be the first to be marginalized.
If Tembo stays at United he is likely to continue using Ditlhokwe and give him more first team opportunities: judging by his trust in the player in the first few months. It appears their union will blossom as seasons progress.