Kaizer Chiefs need Baxter’s direction to move forward – Mashamaite

Since the Englishman delivered the PSL title for the club in 2015 before leaving, Amakhosi have never won a major trophy

Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Tefu Mashamaite believes coach Stuart Baxter is the right man to help ‘restructure’ the Soweto giants after years of struggling for silverware.

Amakhosi players have gone for six years without laying their hands on any trophy. This was under coaches Steve Komphela, Giovanni Solinas, Ernst Middendorp and Gavin Hunt.

Interestingly, it was returning tactician Baxter who guided them to their last piece of silverware, the Premier Soccer League title in 2015.

“I know he [Baxter] is someone who likes organisation and I feel like for a couple of seasons now, Chiefs have been a bit directionless. They need someone who is going to restructure the team and move it forward and I think he is capable of that,” Mashamaite told Sowetan Live.

Since Baxter’s league title heroics, Chiefs have come close to claiming trophies three times.

They reached the 2019 Nedbank Cup final under Middendorp only to lose to then National First Division side TS Galaxy.

Middendorp was to again preside over an agonising runners-up finish in the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League race.

Hunt then played a major role in helping them reach last season’s Caf Champions League semi-finals before Baxter finished the campaign which they went on to lose in the final to Al Ahly.

Baxter now has another opportunity to help Chiefs win something when he guides them in the MTN8 where Amakhosi face Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals.

During Baxter’s first stint as Chiefs coach, his first game was against Sundowns, interestingly, in the MTN8 quarter-finals in August 2012.

Mashamaite feels “it is a good omen” for Chiefs to face Masandawana at a similar stage of the same competition Baxter started in 2012 as Chiefs went on to win the PSL title that season.

“Maybe it is a good omen. The last time we were beaten [4-1] by Sundowns and we went on to have a successful campaign in those three years, Stuart was with Chiefs,” said Mashamaite.

“So we can look at it as a new beginning and a new possibility to make a change. But a lot has changed since that game, specifically because we lost 4-1 in that game, but things have changed rapidly since then. 

“From there, we won the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 under Stuart and two championships. Since then, it has been a drought and that’s the unpredictability of football. To use that game as a reference, I think it would be a bit unfair. I believe Stuart is a good coach at the end of the day.”

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About the Author: Agnes Zang