Stuart Baxter admits Kaizer Chiefs made contact with him
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed that Kaizer Chiefs has made contact with him over returning to Naturena as Amakhosi’s head coach.
Baxter said of the reports that Chiefs, at one stage, were courting him for a return: "Yes‚ I’m sure there was life in it."
The Bafana coach did not deny that there had been any contact between him and the club where he won league and cup doubles in 2013/2014 and 2015/2016‚ saying only that any such communication was not as "drawn out" as it was made to look in the media.
Reports in June‚ denied by the SA Football Association (Safa)‚ were that Baxter‚ who at the time was at home in Sweden on holiday‚ might leave Bafana for Chiefs. Asked to clarify what the position was‚ Baxter said this week: "I left here and I went to Sweden to hopefully go and watch the World Cup from Russia‚ but at least watch it from Sweden and do all my reports for Safa.
"During that time I was bombarded by reports and counter-reports about how interested Chiefs were to bring me there," he said. "Now‚ I’m not blowing my own trumpet when I say that I would imagine that every time Chiefs need a coach my name would come up there somewhere — rightly or wrongly. And I’m sure‚ because you get to know through different sources‚ that there was a scenario where people were hoping that would happen.
"Does that mean that I was sitting down in negotiations with Chiefs? No it doesn’t. And it doesn’t mean that they were disturbing me every day, pestering me. But you guys like a good story‚ so there was a bit of life in that one. So you flogged it a little bit," said Baxter.
"And I’m sure that Safa were not sure how they would deal with it. But we were in contact and I was doing my job. I was reporting on things like the African teams and how they were doing at the World Cup. So‚ yes I’m sure there was life in it. But was it an ongoing saga as we saw in the press? No it wasn’t.
"So, I think, very quickly, we could understand that no matter what ambitions other people might have, sometimes it doesn’t work," hesaid.
Baxter was speaking this week as he announced his squad for the September 8 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Durban against Libya.