BY RONALD MPASO:
Former Flames and Kaizer Chiefs captain, Patrick Mabedi, has said Amakhosi players are looking forward to working with the club’s new Head Coach, Giovanni Solinas.
Mabedi was quoted by goal.com as saying he believes that the Soweto giants are heading in the right direction as they prepare to compete in the new season.
Solina was announced as the new Chiefs gaffer on Friday, after signing a two-year contract with an option for another year.
The development came ahead of the Maize Cup for which Chiefs had qualified for the final under the guidance of Mabedi after a 2-0 win over ABC Motsepe League side Buya Msuthu on Saturday.
The experienced European tactician was in the stands throughout the match.
Solinas, who is back to South Africa having coached Free State Stars, has replaced tactician Steve Komphela.
“It is always nice to have someone new in the family. It is a celebration. The players are looking forward to the future and they are excited. The players have been professional. We are working with big professionals here. The mentality is always good. The coming [in] of the coach is extra motivation,” Mabedi told IOL.
Bernard Parker and Yusuf Bunting scored Amakhosi’s two goals as the Naturena-based side played their first competitive friendly ahead of the 2018/19 season.
“The conditions were bad, the pitch itself. The combinations we were expecting to see were supposed to be better than this. But that was not the case because of the conditions. We cannot complain about that. We emphasised more on seeing the condition of the players since this was our first competitive friendly.
“But so far so good, we are in the right frame. Our plan is to try a couple of combinations and, at the same time, see how far we can go with the conditioning that we have loaded on them. It does not look quite bad. We are actually in the right direction,” Mabedi said.
He justified his selection of several young players for the tournament, stressing the importance of giving young players a challenge by mixing them with experience.
“This is all about the future of the team. It is important to guide them and give them the opportunity so that we can see how they can perform with the senior guys. They did well [in the first match],” Mabedi said.