- Kaizer Chiefs have appointed Italian Giovanni Solinas as the club’s new head coach
- Solinas has previous experience in the PSL having spent two years with Free State Stars
- He has coached a total of 98 matches with 34 wins, 33 losses and 31 draws
Kaizer Chiefs have appointed Italian Giovanni Solinas as the club’s new head coach. In a break with tradition (and perhaps as a nod to the future) the club made the announcement via a live video stream on its Facebook page.
The announcement was made by the club’s enigmatic chairman Kaizer Motaung. The club has not released any further details about its new coach and has not even revealed how long he has been contracted for. Early in the search Kaizer Chiefs said it wanted to appoint somebody long-term.
Solinas might not be a ‘big’ name but he brings a wealth of experience and something of a Mr Fix-it reputation with him. He also has some experience in South Africa and the PSL. Solinas had two relatively successful stints with Free State Stars.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Solinas was credited with turning things around at Free State Stars during his first stint at the club between January and May of 2016. He led the team to the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup.
During his second stint at the club which lasted from October to December 2016 he again influenced the side and got the best out of his players. During that period the team reached the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout Cup.
When he left Free State Stars he was linked with a possible move to PSL giants Orlando Pirates, he was ultimately passed over in favour of Milutin Sredojevic.
According to www.transfermarkt.com Solinas has coached a total of 98 matches with 34 wins, 33 losses and 31 draws. Solinas has a UEFA pro license and has spent the vast majority of his coaching career in Algeria an parts of the Middle-East.
While these figures might not look great they do not show the depth of the challenge which Solinas has often taken on. One concern could be Solinas’s apparent lack of commitment, he often leaves clubs after spending less than a year in his role.
In most cases, he has taken on teams who are at or near the bottom of their respective leagues and has, for the most part, helped the sides to punch way above their weight.
Solinas achieved the following before his move to Free State Stars in 2015:
• December 2013: Joins Saudi Arabian club Al-Faisaly FC - He leads the team from being nearly relegated to sixth. By 2015 he helps the club qualify for the Gulf Cup for Clubs.
• June 2013: Joins Algerian club MC Oran – He spends a year at the club and finishes second it the domestic championship.
• January 2013: Joins Algerian club JSM Béjaïa – He helps the struggling club to the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League. The club goes on to win the CAF Confederations Cup.
• 2010: Joins Algerian club ES Setif – He leads the side to glory in the North Africa Cup and finishes the season as the number one side in its home league.
The Amakhosi faithful will hope Solinas will continue with his knack of turning struggling teams around. The club has not won any silverware in three years, the longest dry spell in its history.
Most of the club’s supporters have been blindsided by Solinas because he is unknown to them. The general consensus seems to be that fans are willing to give the new coach a fair chance.
Some have been more outspoken and shown their disappointment that the club did not announce a ‘big name’ coach as was promised by Bobby Motaung during the early part of the search.
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