Former Orlando Pirates mentor Tinkler a strong option for Kaizer Chiefs head coach role

Cape Town City, Eric TinklerBackpagepix

A fine season with Cape Town City must surely have made Eric Tinkler a front-runner for the Kaizer Chiefs job.

While Chiefs endured a frustrating campaign with too many disappointing performances and results, Cape Town City enjoyed an excellent season under Tinkler.

The team from the Mother City lie second and will stay there unless Royal AM beat Orlando Pirates, or unless Bucs win all three of their remaining fixtures. The Citizens are at the very least guaranteed third-place and will play in Africa next season.

Challenges to overcome

There are several factors which have made City's form this season all the more impressive - including the departure of key players such as Fagrie Lakay, Surprise Ralani, Peter Leeuwenburgh, Zukile Kewuti and Abbubaker Mobara.

Despite having to integrate a whole bunch of youngsters promoted from their youth team, as well as unproven signings from the continent and a couple of arrivals from the second-tier, Tinkler managed to get his side into the top bracket.

And while Tinkler can take credit, it also suggests that City are a very well-run club with strong management and recruitment systems in place.

It should also be noted that Tinkler was excellent in his time with Maritzburg United and his measured, calm demeanour helped the club escape relegation when it had seemed almost inevitable.

The problem for Chiefs is, neither Cape Town City's management nor their supporters will want Tinkler to leave. And with three years still to run on his contract, the coach would probably be costly to prize away.

And the former Bafana Bafana midfielder may well be quite happy in the Mother City and not keen to relocate so soon after settling down and building an exciting side.

Soweto familiarity


Eric Tinkler of Orlando Pirates
Gallo


There is however always the pull of being part of the institution which is Kaizer Chiefs; South Africa's best supported and most famous club.

The Roodepoort-born coach has immense experience - as a player with the national team and in leagues such as England and Portugal - and as a coach in the PSL for approximately a decade. He knows the SA soccer culture inside out and understands what makes players tick.

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And he did enough in his +- 18 months in charge of Orlando Pirates to show he has the mettle to handle a big team with big expectations. He’s shown he has the stature to handle the egos and challenges and with six years passed since Tinkler left Bucs, the 51-year-old has added a whole lot of experience.

Of course, there are other options for Chiefs, including Benni McCarthy, or perhaps a foreign coach, but Tinkler could well be in the Amakhosi’s brain trust's reckoning. One could also imagine him working well with Zwane and Sheppard, helping ensure continuity.