Kavazovic may have dodged a bullet with Chiefs snub

  • Kaizer Chiefs appoint Italian coach Giovanni Solinas
  • Rollers coach Kavazovic was the favourite but he was overlooked
  • Explanation for his recent SA trip revealed


Township Rollers coach Nikola Kavazovic has been snubbed by Kaizer Chiefs for the head coach position which had been vacant for over two months. Kavazovic was the heavy favourite to take the Chiefs job according to South African media outlets but the Soweto giants have opted for Italian coach Giovanni Solinas.
Kavazovic drove the rumour mill into overdrive last week by writing a cryptic message on his Twitter page implying that he might be on opposite sides with Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane on July 21st.
July 21 is the day of the Shell Helix Cup tournament whereby Chiefs and Sundowns will face off. “Still hope to see (you) on the opposite bench on the 21st, you (will) never know,” Kavazovic stated with a picture of himself and Sundowns’ Mosimane on his social media page.
The Serbian coach recently went to South Africa and many reports had speculated that he was holding talks with Kaizer Chiefs. His trip to South Africa saw him miss Rollers’ training sessions and many speculated that he was finalizing a deal at Naturena.
However, it has turned out that he was actually in South Africa to sort out passport related matters at a Serbian Embassy in Pretoria according to Goal.com’s South African publication. Kavazovic has never hidden his desire to coach an African giant like Chiefs when the right time comes, it appears he may have to wait a little longer for his chance.
Did he dodge a bullet?
The grass is not always greener on the PSL side as many Botswana based coaches have found out in recent years. Making a transition from Botswana to the PSL can be a trying mission, the standard of football is a lot higher and the pressure is a lot more intense.
The likes of Major David Bright, Peter Butler and Veselin Jelusic have all made a transition from Botswana football to the PSL but none of them would make a case for being able to have longevity in the South African league.
Bright has taken charge of numerous clubs but he has never been afforded the chance to fulfill his projects. Former Zebras coach Butler experienced a culture shock as he was fired by Platinum Stars despite being in charge for less than five league games while Veselin left Bloemfontein Celtic following differences with management despite leading them to safety.
“The level of the South African league is different, with all due respect to Botswana football. You have to know the culture, to understand the chairmen because they are the ones who sign players. A new coach would have to build a new transfer strategy in order to get the players he wants but then again he has to convince his chairman, it is not an easy task. There can also be a clash of philosophies, it would present a dilemma for the coach because he would be caught between instilling his own philosophy or fitting into his new club’s philosophy,” said a Botswana based football observer.