Manqoba Mngqithi is excited to start a new chapter in his career by leading Chippa United into their first ever season in the Absa Premiership.
|Manqoba Mngqithi @ Backpagepix
The Cape side, formed only in 2010, secured back-to-back promotions to take their place amongst South Africa’s football elite in the Premier Soccer League for the 2012/ 2013 season.
Mngqithi’s last coaching stint was a brief spell at AmaZulu, but it was at his former club, Golden Arrows, where he really made a name for himself as one of the country’s brightest young coaches.
The young coach was credited by many for remaining true to the principles of true South African-style football, marrying panache with results to good effect as Arrows performed consistently in the league and also won the 2009 MTN8; which was perhaps Mngqithi’s finest hour as he watched his team destroy Ajax Cape Town 6-0 in the final.
The 41-year-old may be young in comparison to the average manager of a professional club, but the former school teacher has been around the block, and joins Chippa with over 15 years experience.
The Umzimkhulu-born Mngqithi’s progressive demeanour, and the type of football he advocates could just be the perfect blend for the Chilli Boys, a township-based club less than three-years old, owned by self-made chairman Chippa Mpengensi, a man in his mid-30’s.
“Its an exciting opportunity for me, one which I really look forward to making the most of. Working with an open-minded owner such as Chippa will enable us to take this club forward – we’ve made history already and we want to continue to do that,” Mngqithi told PSL.co.za.
While Mpngensi is well known for his ambition, and for his fast-track route to the top, Mngqithi is for now staying focussed on building a strong foundation for years to come.
“The first objective is to stabilise the team, then the rest will follow. Come the end of the season, we want to be in a comfortable position and not fighting relegation.
“So far its been so good – the players have responded well to my training and I’m happy to be working with an excited, enthusiastic and talented bunch of young players – these players’ hunger to succeed in the top division will play an important part in our success next season” he said.
The desire of the Chippa players to do well in what for some of them will be their maiden entry into playing at the highest level is not the only factor that can be to Chippa’s advantage next season, says Mngqithi:
“We’re looking forward to playing our home games in front of our fans in Philippi township next season. It will be a reward for those people that have supported us all the way.
“There is a great energy and level of support from the surrounding communities and the team will benefit greatly from this.”