Coaching change will raise expectations at Kaizer Chiefs

Tunisian mentor Nasreddine Nabi has been heavily linked with Kaizer Chiefs in recent weeks. Photo: BackpagePix

Tunisian mentor Nasreddine Nabi has been heavily linked with Kaizer Chiefs in recent weeks. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 21, 2024


Comment by Smiso Msomi

Preparations for the 2024/2025 season have begun for clubs around the country, with major movements expected to happen at some of the nation’s biggest outfits.

Having finished in an abysmal 10th place on the DStv Premiership standings last season, wholesale alterations are expected to happen at Kaizer Chiefs.

The Soweto giants are in desperate need of a coach and arguably a group of players to usher them back to their glory days, in order to perhaps notch up their first trophy in nine seasons.

If reports are anything to go by, the Amakhosi have already got their man with the arrival of Tunisian tactician Nasreddine Nabi imminent in the next few weeks.

While the club is yet to announce the 58-year-old mentor, various reliable sources and publications have confirmed there is an agreement between Nabi and Chiefs, and the coach is already assembling a formidable technical team.

Nabi is currently on the books of Botola 1 side AS FAR Rabat in Morocco, and recently missed out on a chance of claiming a third league title in a row, having won back-to-back championships with Yanga SC in Tanzania.

While his pedigree is revered across the continent – having also reached the CAF Confederation Cup final with Yanga – Nabi has also raised the expectation levels of the Amakhosi faithful.

The club have begun the last seven seasons with a different appointment as the head of the technical team, and if not for the good fortune of Arthur Zwane, Nabi could have arrived fresh off success in Tanzania last season.

However, negotiations between Chiefs and Nabi fell through because of his desire to bring on his own technical team, a demand the club are said to be adhering to this time around.

According to SABC Sport, Nabi has insisted on French-Portuguese coach Fernando da Cruz being part of his technical team after being impressed by his work with AS FAR, where he succeeded the Frenchman at the start of the 2023/24 season.

The 51-year-old former AS FAR technical director has been linked with a move to Naturena, having been in talks with the Soweto giants as a replacement for Zwane a year ago, but now looks set to play a crucial role under Nabi.

According to Idiski Times, his current assistant coach Khalil Ben Youssef, who worked as an analyst with him at Yanga, will join as his second assistant, former Mauritania goalkeeper coach Ilyes Mzoughi has already been secured by Chiefs, while Majdi Safi – who worked with Wydad and Raja – replaces Muzi Maluleke as the strength and conditioning coach.

Having been criticised in the past for nepotism and running the club like a “family business”, the Motaungs are seemingly ready to take the shackles off within their structure, which has renewed hope for their fan-base.

Having watched Mamelodi Sundowns lift seven league titles in a row and Orlando Pirates secure back-to-back cup doubles, the Glamour Boys are expected to inject fresh blood into their system and seek to regain their place among the country’s powerhouses.