Zwane, Sheppard head Kaizer Chiefs’ bench vs Wydad Casablanca as Baxter awaits work permit

Amakhosi’s winning technical team combination in their final two PSL games will lead the team in Morocco

Kaizer Chiefs have announced returning coach Stuart Baxter will not be on the bench during Saturday’s Caf Champions League semi-finals, first leg clash away at Wydad Casablanca, leaving Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard to take charge of the match.

Amakhosi will continue with their continental journey as they seek to atone for a difficult domestic season by reaching a historic Champions League final.

Baxter is yet to secure a South African work permit after being appointed Chiefs coach last Wednesday for a second stint at the club. 

“Just as in the last two DStv Premiership games of the season, coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard will continue to sit on the bench while newly appointed coach Stuart Baxter and the club’s administration work on obtaining his work permit,” said Chiefs in a statement. 

“Coach Baxter will however travel with the team to the North African country as the team gets ready for the all-important semi-final game against two-time Caf Champions League winners.” 

Zwane and Sheppard return to lead Chiefs fresh from the two PSL games they impressed as interim coaches following the sacking of Gavin Hunt. 

The pair guided Chiefs to a top-eight finish after the club faced the grim possibility of participating in the relegation/promotion play-offs. 

Under the duo, the Soweto giants beat Golden Arrows 3-2, before edging TS Galaxy 1-0 in their final match of the season.  

It was an interim stint that could have influenced Baxter to retain them as assistant coaches when the Englishman was appointed last week after they were initially expected to follow Hunt through the exit door. 

Baxter will be sitting in the stands on Saturday monitoring and taking note of how his side performs against perennial Champions League contestants Wydad. 

Chiefs legend Stanton Fredericks believes that Amakhosi have “shown a lot of fight recently” and showed “a lot of grit” in their last two matches but that it is mostly up to the players to continue on that encouraging path. 

“You now need courage to go on – but that does not come from the coaches,” Fredericks told the Chiefs website. 

“Players need to be sitting down, discussing and understanding success on the continent stays with you and the team forever – it becomes part of your legacy. The importance of this competition is beyond comprehension, you need to understand that when you move into the final stages.”

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About the Author: Agnes Zang