FORMER Warriors striker Wilfred Mugeyi has landed his first job as head coach in South Africa after being appointed coach of unstable Absa Premiership side Chippa United yesterday.
Report by Wellington Toni
Having spent his days after the end of his playing career as an assistant coach at Ajax Cape Town, Mugeyi takes over at Chippa today on an 18-month contract after his former club agreed to release him.
But he becomes Chippa’s fifth coach in 16 games.
The club has been, on average, having a new coach in every three games.
Manqoba Mngqithi was the first coach, followed by Julius Dube before Roger Sikhakhane took over.
Mugeyi replaces coach number four Farouk Abrahams, who left the club under a cloud and spilled the beans on the problems at Siviwe “Chippa” Mengesi’s club, who are in their debut season.
They are 15th on the log with 13 points from 16 matches, having won just two games, drawn seven and lost seven.
In confirming Mugeyi’s release, Ajax said on their official website: “Ajax Cape Town would like to confirm that Wilfred Mugeyi has been released as assistant coach of the PSL team with immediate effect. Ajax Cape Town would like to wish Wilfred all the best in his future endeavours.”
Abrahams told KickOff yesterday: “Yes, I can confirm that I have been released from my duties and Wilfred Mugeyi will take over from tomorrow (today).”
His first game is against Free State Stars on February 13 and Mugeyi becomes the only Zimbabwean coach in the top-flight as Kaitano Tembo, another former Warrior, is an assistant coach at SuperSport United.
During his playing days he was known as “Silver Fox” and was once part of the formidable Black Aces that won the league title in their debut season in the top flight in 1992. He enjoyed a long and fruitful spell at South African side Bush Bucks, a club he first joined in 1993 and he also had a decent international career with Zimbabwe.
Mugeyi took South African football by storm when he scooped three top awards, PSL Player of the Year, Player’s Player of the Year and Top Goalscorer of the Season back in 1996/97 when he scored 23 goals for Bucks.
He has also had spells in Israel and China where he played for Maccabi Haifa and Hang Yan respectively.
But before Abrahams departed, he left a volley of unfriendly words against the players that Mugeyi will now work with.
“All I can say now is that there was apparently some issues with the players that wasn’t part of the plan which everybody agreed on — myself and the management.
“So now apparently, some of them have got issues with me and also they raised all sorts of accusations against me. The general manager investigated everything and they couldn’t find any proof of what they were suggesting against me. It’s not football issues so now I’ll have another meeting with the chairman to see how he reads the whole issue.
“Yesterday (Monday) everything was fine between me and him when we met with ‘OJ’ (Mabizela, who just signed for Chippa). We had nice things to talk about for the future, this came out of the blue that they are accepting the status quo that the players have created.”
“Those are the players that didn’t feature in the immediate plans that created this. In football there are always those players who won’t be in the coach’s plans and will try to get the coach fired. They fear that the guys who are on the outside will influence the players that are inside.”
“I have a wonderful relationship with the chairman and I’m looking forward to talk to him again about this once everything is calm.”