Takes time to settle, family are home in Helsingborg…… tough. We had selected a house so I have been trying to put in some of the furniture and utensils that we agreed upon when the family were here to visit.
Soweto is many things: a historical site recording the troubled past, a lively modern town, a shanty and a vibrant tourist destination.. Though the people are warm and friendly the crime rate, especially black on bleach is high due to their desperation, and is a challenge for the government. It is also the home of all sports in Joburg and the Soweto football derby rivals any in the world.
The World cup came and passed in SA, but the legacy seems like only infrastructure. No programmes or strategies are in place and socially the people are not better off than when I was here in 2005.
Kaizer Chiefs are a club trying to do the job correctly in the midst of opposition to long term planning. The chairman is building an academy as his legacy to SA football. We are trying to create an identity and even on the field we are trying to add a functional way of defending to the speed and skill that most players have here. We are also trying to educate the players so they make better more effective decisions on how to use their talents. Not easy as you are accused of killing the African style.
Pirates and Sundowns have invested fortunes in their squads and have around 35 players each of quality. We are historically one of Africas power houses but have fallen behind, probably due to the owners desire to build the club on sporting values and not short cuts or mini corruption. This means that when I arrived Chiefs are in a pack of hopefuls like Supersport, Wits, Free State plus maybe one or two others. Don’t say that to any of our 2 000 000 supporters in Africa!!
One of the pleasures for me is getting out onto the field again. These are not European problems but ithey are football challenges. Tactical ideas to be communicated, a positive winning environment to build and that in the chaos of the South African media where character assassination goes hand in hand with hero worship.
At our last game v Amazulu we were asked by a hospice in Durban if a young 9 year old boy who was terminally I’ll could visit our hotel as his only wish was to see the Chiefs players before he died. Of course I agreed and it was an emotional , warming and humbling experience to see this boys face when he met us. He sat and ate proudly wearing his new Chiefs shirt looking with a massive smile at the players beside him. That he was so genuinely happy made me almost ashamed of my own lack of patience with life and even more so the players who fail to work to achive their dreams and instead complain about their situations . This boys spirit so weak yet so powerful inspired our players as we crushed Amazulu the following day 6-0 on their stadium. After the game the players formed a ring in the dressing room and prayed for the young Chief we had met at the hotel.
You know they do get some things spot on in Africa.really spot on!!!
Hanbane gartler ( go well )