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EZULWINI - It would be a homecoming for axed Chippa United head coach Dan Malesela at Mbabane Highlanders.

Just after losing his job over the Easter weekend following a humiliating 5-1 loss to Maritzburg United, the Chilli Boys owner, Sipho ‘ Chippa’ Mpengesi, pulled the trigger on him in his fifth full-time stint as their coach.
He has already been replaced by his assistant on an interim basis while a Belgian coach Luc Eymael, has been roped in as Technical Advisor and is no stranger to South African football. He worked for Free State Stars, Polokwane and Black Leopards before. Interestingly, this is the same position Malesela stands to be offered by the country’s most successful side that struggled against elite rookies Tinyosi and minnows Milling Hot Spurs last Friday and this past Tuesday respectively.

They came from behind to draw 2-all with Tinyosi and needed a penalty to beat Milling 1-0. This was all before the club’s South African director Chief Ally Kgomongwe, who has arguably the most expensively assembled squad this season, despite Thamsanqa Sangweni’s departure to Chippa United. “What he made clear is that he will boost the technical bench as he felt it necessary. From the way he sounded, no one will lose their job, but Shakes Mashaba is likely to join us,” said impeccable sources who were questioned about the long meetings last Friday and the one held in Ezulwini the next day.


Kgomongwe, who had already come here, expected to clear the air if he was leaving or not as director in only his second of a five-year contract, met with the players then the technical bench and other officials of the team. He went on to meet the two coaches being Dumsani ‘DU’ Makhanya (head coach) and Siyabonga Bhembe (assistant and trainer) alongside the team’s National Supporters Committee (NSC) in Ezulwini at Mdzimba View.
“That’s where he made it so clear, even to the coaches that he was concerned and was going to hire a technical director, which is a good move and they also agreed,” said one of the officials, on condition of anonymity, while adding that former national team Sihlangu coach, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba was earmarked, but Malesela had not lost his job at the time.

Kgomongwe was sought and asked about the technical bench meeting and if he was considering replacing Makhanya. “I met my coaches yes, and I will be talking to Dan to come and help us as technical director. We can do with a little more experience in the technical bench,” he said. He noted that they needed to be more ruthless given their quality hence he was bringing in a third coach.

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