Kaizer Chiefs caretaker coach Patrick Mabedi says the players are looking forward to working with the club’s new head coach Giovanni Solinas.
The Italian coach was announced as the new Amakhosi gaffer after he signed a two-year contract with an option for another year, on Friday ahead of the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup in Orkney.
Solinas, who is back in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) having coached Free State Stars, has replaced South African tactician Steve Komphela.
The experienced European tactician was in the stands in Chiefs’ 2-0 win over ABC Motsepe League side Buya Msuthu in the first semi-final of the Maize Cup at the James Motlatsi Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s always nice to have someone new in the family,” Mabedi told IOL.
“It’s a celebration. The players are looking forward to the future and they are excited. The players have been professional,” he continued.
“We are working with big professionals here. The mentality is always good. The coming of the coach is extra motivation,” he added.
Bernard Parker and Yusuf Bunting scored Amakhosi’s two goals as the Naturena-based side played their first competitive friendly match 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 wasn’t the case because of the conditions,” he said.
“We can’t complain about that. We emphasised more on seeing the condition of the players since this was our first competitive friendly,” Mabedi explained.
“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 doesn’t look quite bad. We are actually in the right direction,” he indicated.
“This is all about the future of the team. It is important to give the young players a challenge and mix them with experience as you saw,” Mabedi said.
“It’s 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),” he concluded.