Kaizer Motaung with new Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter Picture: SUPPLIED
Kaizer Motaung with new Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter Picture: SUPPLIED

Kaizer Chiefs confirmed on Wednesday that Stuart Baxter is their new head coach.

The 67-year-old replaces Gavin Hunt‚ who was fired with two matches to go in the season and Chiefs sitting in 11th place after having won just twice in 16 league matches up to then.

But Hunt did steer Amakhosi into their first Caf Champions League semifinal where they will meet Wydad Casablanca over two legs later in June. His tenure at Chiefs — he was appointed in the 2020/2021 preseason to replace Ernst Middendorp — was hampered by a single-season Fifa transfer ban.

Chiefs said Baxter has signed a two-year contract. Hunt’s assistants‚ Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard‚ will remain in the new technical team.

Former Bafana Bafana coach Baxter was the last coach to win a trophy at Chiefs‚ who have now gone six seasons without silverware. In three seasons at Chiefs Baxter won two league and cup doubles, in 2012/2013 and 2014/2015. He also won the 2013 Nedbank Cup and 2014 MTN8 in his first stint at Chiefs. 

His appointment follows the hiring last week of another former Bafana coach, Molefi Ntseki‚ who was Baxter’s assistant at the national team, as head of technical and the academy at Naturena.

“We believe we are on track with the changes we have made so far in the coaching and technical department after a challenging season domestically‚” Amakhosi chair Kaizer Motaung said.

“After extensive reviews and consultations‚ we decided to appoint Stuart because we believe he is one coach who understands our philosophy and culture. We know his work ethic and believe he will work with the team we have at the moment while trying to rebuild and ensure we have a formidable side for the new season.

“It has been six years since Stuart left Chiefs after winning the league trophy in 2015‚ but he departed on good terms and remains a well-liked figure by many supporters‚ colleagues and some of the players he coached at the time.

“We believe he will be able to work within our current set-up and will use the time to understand some of the players he’s not familiar with. We need the coach to have enough time and prepare adequately for the new season,” Motaung said.

Baxter has also coached SuperSport United and won the Nedbank Cup twice with them, in 2016 and 2017.

He coached Bafana in two stints — from 2004 to 2005 and 2017 to 2019 — steering them to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals in Egypt but failing to qualify for the 2006 and 2018 World Cups.

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