Arthur Zwane was handed a three-year contract by Kaizer Chiefs on Thursday in a risky gamble on an untested coach by the country’s most popular club, seeking to end seven seasons without a trophy.
The 48-year-old former winger has been a junior coach at the club and came through the ranks, working as an assistant to Vladimir Vermezovic, Gavin Hunt and Stuart Baxter.
He took over after Baxter’s firing last month and has made no bones about his desire for top to job, enjoying considerable support from inside the club, particularly the Motaung children who have been influencing their father, club chairman Kaizer Motaung, to make the choice, despite Kaizer senior’s aversion to local coaches.
“We would like to take this opportunity and congratulate coach Arthur Zwane for this big appointment,” he said in a statement released by the club on Thursday. “The plan we have been working on for many years of appointing Arthur as our head coach has come to fruition.
“After seeing his passion for the game and his willingness to learn, we have been looking to bring him through to lead the senior team when the time is right, and we believe that time is now. We are also grateful that he has been patient and continued to work hard to advance his coaching skills and abilities by educating himself, which is key in the modern game.
“Arthur is someone who grew up at Chiefs and has a full understanding of our culture. We did say last year when we appointed the Sporting Director and Head of Technical that we wanted them to work with people who understand our philosophy. This is important as the coach works closely with those two gentlemen on a daily basis,” the Chairman added.
Zwane gained international experience when he was called up as an assistant coach for Bafana Bafana in 2020 and 2021, working with Molefi Ntseki, who is now Kaizer Chiefs’ Head of Technical and Development.
Kaizer Chiefs Sporting Director Kaizer Motaung Jr, who played with Zwane, said: “It is no secret that we have had a number of challenging seasons over the last few years. We have had to make decisive changes in leading us to what we strongly believe will lay the foundation for long term success.
“We are confident that our supporters and all those who are associated with the Kaizer Chiefs brand will have something to smile about soon.
“One of the main reasons the club decided to appoint coach Arthur Zwane is his deep understanding of the Kaizer Chiefs playing philosophy and his incredible work ethic. His innovative and modern approach to the game has made him the ideal candidate to drive this unique project into the future,” Motaung Jr added.
Coach Zwane will be assisted by Dillon Sheppard, who joined Chiefs in 2020 as assistant coach when he came from Bidvest Wits with Hunt.