The Englishman is back to work in South Africa, nearly two years after he left his role as the national team tactician
Kaizer Chiefs have announced the appointment of Stuart Baxter as coach, replacing Gavin Hunt who was fired almost two weeks ago.
Baxter will be assisted by Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard who were interim co-coaches after being part of Hunt’s backroom staff.
First on the Englishman’s schedule will be Amakhosi’s trip to Morocco to take Wydad Casablanca in a Caf Champions League, semi-final, First leg match on June 19.
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Baxter is already in South Africa and takes over an Amakhosi squad left by Ernst Middendorp before it was inherited by Hunt amid a Fifa transfer ban.
“The coaches who have been here before me are not bad coaches, they are good coaches. Some of them are top coaches in this country,” Baxter told Chiefs’ media.
“So this is not about me coming back and dismantling everything that’s been done. This is about me trying to find a better balance, maybe rebuilding around the team as well. I think Kaizer Chiefs have moved forward a lot since the last time I was here.
“This time there will be a lot of expectations and I will have to manage that. This time it’s a tougher league, I think it has improved in terms of the bottom teams not pushovers now. It will be different, the game has moved forward, it has changed.
“I remember when I came the last time and spoke about transitions, people laughed. They said ‘what transitions?’ So now I have to find out what is new, what I can use. It will be an interesting challenge.”
Returning to Chiefs is Baxter’s first job since February when he was fired by Indian Super League side following some controversial remarks he made when he used a rape analogy to describe how his team was being denied penalties.
Since Baxter delivered the league title for Chiefs in 2015 before leaving for Turkey, the Soweto giants have not won a single trophy.
“When I was here the last time I knew Chiefs had not won anything in a while and so when I came in, I knew winning something was a priority for them,” said Baxter.
“But I didn’t look only at winning trophies. I was trying to build a team. I was trying to help us find an identity and I think that was an interesting part. That will be the same again now if we can keep our eyes firmly on the path and not destination. That will be very important for Chiefs now.”
Chiefs finished the just-ended Premier Soccer League season eighth on the table after a difficult domestic campaign in which they missed the MTN8 and the Nedbank Cup.