Gordon Igesund: Kaizer Chiefs will definitely compete this season

With the new PSL season starting this weekend, Goal spoke to the four-time league winner to share his predictions on who will the league title

Former Orlando Pirates  and Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says the upcoming 2018/19 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season will be interesting.

The four-time PSL title winner with the Buccaneers, Mamelodi Sundowns, Manning Rangers and Santos reckons it’s too early to predict who will walk away with the league trophy.

He said it will be fair to wait for three or four matches of the new campaign before saying who will win the R10 million in prize money.

The former Bafana Bafana coach also came to Kaizer Chiefs’ defence, saying that with a new coach and players, they were bound to lose some of the pre-season matches.

Despite lifting the 2018 Maize Cup, Amakhosi failed to win the Shell Helix Cup and Mpumalanga Cultural Experience Cup.

However, under Giovanni Solinas, Igesund said Chiefs and their fans will be very hungry for cup glory and that they will definitely hunt for trophies.

On the other hand, he said the Brazilians will also come out guns blazing to defend their trophy.

Moreover, the likes of Pirates and Bidvest Wits will also challenge for the coveted prize, and Igesund said it will be tough to predict for now.

“Look, it’s very difficult to say at the moment, because there have been too many friendlies and some were not on television for us to see,” Igesund told Goal .

“I think it becomes difficult to call it because clubs have definitely signed players and we did not see many of them if they fit in at their new clubs,” he said.

“It will be fair to say, let’s wait for three or four games before coming with predictions, but I can tell you, it will be a very difficult season,” he explained.

“For now, we can guess and come up with our own choices, but Chiefs have not played against Pirates and Sundowns have not played Pirates you know – it is difficult for now,” he continued.

“But to come with a justified comment based on facts, let’s wait and see the first two or three matches and judge the clubs fairly - I don’t know for now to be honest,” he added.

“We can’t say so and so will win the league based on friendlies because teams are cagey in pre-season in case there could be injuries and so on,” said he ex-Bafana boss.

“For example, Chiefs fans are hungry and they want wins, but they have a new coach who was prepared to lose games in the pre-season because he wanted different combinations,” added the ex-Rangers mentor.

“The supporters must be patient because a friendly match is exactly what is called; coaches want new combinations and look, during my time as Bafana coach, I lost two official games out of 17 games, but I was judged on losing friendlies,” he recalled.

“It was unfortunate from the supporters who judged me based on friendlies and I was prepared to lose them as I tried new players and formations,” said the former Santos coach.

“I think Chiefs will be a different team next season because they have gone for a few years with no trophy - everybody knows they will challenge next season,” he predicted.

“I think what is important for the new coach is to play official matches and win them; that will begin this weekend when they face Sundowns,” asserted the Durban-born coach.

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“I think they are harsh on Chiefs. And coming to Pirates, they had a great season last year and will also be pushing for trophies, there’s no doubt about that,” he added.

“Sundowns will want to defend and I must say, it will not be easy and I am sure they know as well, and for Wits, Marizburg United and Free State Stars, these are teams that will also raise their hands next season,” he said.

“What we can do for now is to wait and enjoy the season. This will be one of the greatest seasons the PSL and the fans have ever seen,” concluded the 62-year-old.