|Richard Makhoba © Backpagepix
United FC’s Richard Makhoba’s successful transition from club boss to head coach has seen him earning the mantra the ‘Little Jomo Sono’.
Before the General Manager took charge, the Kimberley-based side had been floundering in the lower half of the National First Division, but under his guidance they have steadily climbed up to their current position of eighth place.
With four games to go, they trail Thanda Royal Zulu, who occupy the final play-off position, by eight points, so while a shot at promotion would appear a very outside one, 2011/ 2012 has turned out to be a fairly successful campaign for the club.
Makhoba explained to PSL.co.za why he has managed to turn around United’s fortunes – as a stakeholder in the club, he perhaps has more on the line than a coach sourced externally would have.
“I attribute the success to the commitment I have managed to instil and have received from the players and the technical team.
“I have had to sacrifice a lot to fulfil my new role, but it has paid dividends when you look at where we are on the log.
“I still feel we could have done a bit better, there are points we dropped where things were beyond our control, but I must give credit to my players for their effort and commitment. Now with four games to go we are looking to try and win three of those and see where that takes us.”
Makhoba, who has several coaching certificates to his name, is clearly enjoying his new role.
“I have quite a bit of experience as a coach, having coached school teams and also clubs in the Vodacom League, where my team usually managed to finish second or third.
“What has been key at United is that I have good relationships with the players. I know them well because I am the one who brought them here, the one who went to scout them from the lower leagues.
“I’ll see what the future brings – at the moment I’m enjoying my new role, and people have even been calling me the Little Jomo Sono!”