Motupa adds firepower to Chilli Boys
Chippa United boss Siviwe Mpengesi yesterday pinned down a three-year contract with exciting Orlando Pirates striker Gift Motupa.
Motupa is a former SA U-23 international but struggled to get regular playing time at Pirates before he was loaned to Baroka.
Motupa’s goals at Baroka helped the Limpopo club stave off relegation as they finished 14th on the table‚ avoiding the relegation/promotion playoffs by seven points.
“I am delighted to welcome Gift Motupa to the Chippa United family,” Mpengesi said.
“He was highly recommended by our head coach, Vladislav Heric.
“He showed his quality while [on loan] at Baroka, scoring nine goals, and we have no doubt he will add firepower to our attack next season.”
The club chairman has also rewarded head coach Heric with a longer stay at Chippa United after he delivered the club to safety in the Absa Premiership.
Early this week Mpengesi, who is notorious for having a trigger finger when it comes to the hiring and firing of coaches, confirmed the appointment of Heric for the 2018-19 season without much fanfare via the club’s website.
“I am delighted to announce that we have opted to extend Heric’s contract with the club for the 2018-19 season,” Mpengesi was quoted as saying on the website.
“Heric joined us in March and at the time we were in 13th position, almost facing relegation. He, together with the technical team, did a tremendous job, almost guiding us to the top eight.
“This time he will have the opportunity to take the team to the pre-season in preparation for the 2018-19 season.
“We will create systems to support him and bring about an environment conducive for positive results.”
Heric was the last of three coaches to be used by Chippa last season, the others being Dan Malesela and Teboho Moloi.
He signed an initial contract upon his arrival at the Port Elizabeth club when taking over from Moloi, with an option to renew for next season.
At that time the Chilli Boys were 13th on the log and were relegation targets.
In only seven matches, the former Bay United and Royal Eagles mentor managed to steer the team to safety, finishing just outside the top eight.
Heric lost only one league match – the 2-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns – and his most impressive victory was the 3-0 drubbing of Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs.
Chippa’s 1-1 draw against Polokwane City at the weekend saw them finish 10th on the log with 37 points from 30 matches.
It was those positive results that convinced Mpengesi to extend Heric’s stay at Chippa.
Mpengesi expressed his gratitude to the supporters for rallying behind the team in both good and bad times.
“On behalf of the club, I would like to express sincere gratitude for the unwavering support from our supporters nationwide.”