Baroka announce new coach after dismissing former Black Leopards mentor Kerr

Dylan Kerr, Baroka FC, February 2020
The retired defender has become the first manager to be dismissed by a PSL club this season

Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Baroka FC have announced the departure of English coach Dylan Kerr.

The 53-year-old tactician was placed under suspension by the club for alleged insubordination last month. 

The Limpopo-based side has now dismissed Kerr, who had joined the club in December 2019 when he replaced Zambian coach Wedson Nyirenda.

"Baroka FC parted ways with team head coach," a club statement read. 

Kerr came to South Africa after leading East African giants Gor Mahia to two consecutive Kenyan Premier League titles between 2017 and 2018.

The former Leeds United defender served as the Black Leopards coach between December 2018 and June 2019.

Meanwhile, Baroka also confirmed that Kerr has been replaced by Thoka Matsimela as the new club head coach. 

"Baroka FC's newly appointed head coach for 2020/2021 season Thoka Matsimela," a club statement read.

Matsimela was thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup champions. 

"Firstly, let me say thanks for this opportunity, my chairman. He gave me the opportunity to lead the team as the coach of Baroka FC," Matsimela said.

"I am humbled by the opportunity. I will make sure that I grab this opportunity with two hands."

Matsimela worked as the assistant coach under Mike Rapatsa‚ Sello Chokoe‚ Kgoloko Thobejane‚ MacDonald Makhubedu, Nyirenda and Kerr at Baroka over the years.

The loyal tactician is confident of guiding Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele to a top-eight finish which would see the team qualify for the MTN8 for the first time. 

"Yeah, we have been given a mandate of making sure that the team finishes in the top eight this season," he continued.

"It is something we have been failing to achieve as a club. We have been unable to secure a top-eight finish in the previous seasons.

"But we promise that Baroka FC will compete in the MTN8 next season." 

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Matsimela took charge of Baroka's first three matches this season after Kerr was placed under suspension.

He led the team to two successive wins over Maritzburg United and Leopards and a draw against Lamontville Golden Arrows.

As a result, Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele are placed second on the PSL standings with seven points from three games.