Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela is happy with his side’s preparations ahead of the new season.
The AmaKhosi mentor has assembled a squad featuring several news faces both in the playing contingent and backroom staff.
“We returned from the off-season a fortnight ago,” says coach Steve Komphela, before adding: “We started pre-season with the routine testing and medicals.
The work to be ready for the new season has begun.” Komphela’s side has been bolstered with eight new recruits: Sibusiso Khumalo (jersey number 13), Enocent Mkhabela (6), the Zimbabwean duo of Edmore Chirambadare (11) and Michelle Katsvairo (8), Zambian Lewis Macha (19), Keagan Buchanan (10), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (2) and Emmanuel Letlotlo (21), who was promoted from Chiefs’ soccer academy. “The new players have been introduced and warmly received by the team,” Komphela said about the new signees.
Amakhosi have also roped in new members for the technical team: assistant coach John Paintsil, goalkeeper coach Alexandre Revoredo and physical trainer Marco Munhoz.
“As you can see,” Komphela says, while pointing with his hand towards the training ground, “everybody is showing the right energy. Work has begun and we are all aware of the mammoth task ahead of us.”
“We have to manage the process of integrating the new members in the team”, adds the Chiefs coach. “There is also the matter of bringing the players to the same level of readiness before the new season starts.”
Komphela mentions as well the fact that some of the players did not enjoy a full off-season break due to CAF commitments: “We have to take it slow with players like Itumeleng Khune, Erick Mathoho and Ramahlwe Mphahlele, who were in action for Bafana Bafana.”
The coach adds that Willard Katsande also got a few more days to rest, as he was in full action with the Zimbabwean national team. “The pre-season camp will give us an opportunity to gel as a team,” continues Komphela, who reveals that the squad will embark on a ten-day camp in Mpumalanga.
“There were also some players that still carried an injury from last season. We had to cater for that in the preparation processes. Buchanan and Siphiwe Tshabalala are recovering from an assortment of injuries. The medical team will provide the report and guide us on any other injury concerns.”
The Amakhosi will be in action in the highly anticipated Carling Black Label Champions Cup on Saturday, 30 July. This flagship pre-season friendly will kick-off at 15:30 at the iconic FNB Stadium.
“I am happy with the mood in the team,” concludes Komphela. “The Carling Cup will give us an opportunity to measure our level of readiness for the new season.