Eric Tinkler to take over at Chippa

Chippa United chairman Siviwe Mpengesi welcomes new coach Eric Tinkler
Chippa United chairman Siviwe Mpengesi welcomes new coach Eric Tinkler
Image: Chippa United / Facebook

New coach Eric Tinkler can take the Chilli Boys to the next level in South African soccer, Chippa United chief operations officer Lukhanyo Mzinzi says.

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Tinkler, who will arrive in Port Elizabeth to take charge of the side on Thursday evening, was dramatically announced as a replacement for Dan “Dance” Malesela, who was shown the door by the Absa Premiership club on Wednesday.

“We as Chippa United can confirm that we have parted ways with Dan Malesela after a very lengthy meeting that we had as the management on Tuesday,” Mzinzi said.

“We have immediately found a replacement in Eric Tinkler, who has worked with various clubs in the league.

“He had a very impressive spell at Cape Town City before joining SuperSport United.

“He was also with Orlando Pirates in their Caf final.

“We are looking forward to our first win of the new season under Tinkler against SuperSport United [next Wednesday].”

Numerous attempts to reach Tinkler proved unsuccessful on Wednesday.

Mzinzi said the decision to fire Malesela – after only three matches this season – had been a painful one.

DONE DEAL!!! Welcome to the Chilli Boys family Coach🌶🌶🌶

Posted by Chippa United Football Club on Wednesday, 22 August 2018

According to Mzinzi, Malesela’s axing was based not only on results but a combination of “other soccer-related matters”.

Chippa have recorded two losses and a draw in their opening three matches and, as a result, are second last on the log with only one point.

They were beaten 2-0 by Bloemfontein Celtic in their league opener, followed by a 1-0 loss to Orlando Pirates.

Their most recent result was a 2-2 draw against Black Leopards in East London at the weekend.

“The way we started this season and how we played against Bloemfontein Celtic, Orlando Pirates and Black Leopards, with two games being home fixtures, was not impressive,” Mzinzi said.

“In our meeting, we analysed the players we have, the players we lost and the players we bought this season, experienced and younger.

“It was a very painful decision to release [Malesela] because those who are close to the club know how close the chairman is with coach Dan,” he said.

“But we decided to let him go and hire Tinkler because of his experience and his availability.”

Malesela said he had received his letter of termination late on Tuesday night.

He declined to elaborate what was stated in the letter, saying it was a personal contractual matter between him and the club.

“It’s embarrassing for me. I can’t suffer this humiliation,” the coach said. “They will buy me out of my contract.”

The former Orlando Pirates skipper said he had nothing immediate planned.

“I’ll be leaving Port Elizabeth tomorrow,” he said.

“I have already spoken to the players. It’s just unfortunate that I was never afforded a chance to do things at Chippa.

“I hope the next person will get a chance because there is potential here.”

Asked if he would take legal action, Malesela said: “No. I am far from those things. We have an agreement in terms of what will happen.”

During the 2016/2017 season, he was placed on “special leave” due to poor results, but was later brought back as results went downhill.

He helped save the club from being relegated.

Last season, he was fired in September having also only played three matches‚ all of them defeats, and vowed to never come back to Chippa.

He made a surprise return to the team in May, replacing Serbian coach Vladislav Heric.

He said he would only go back to Chippa if a “certain individual” had left the club.

“I committed myself last time to say I am not coming back and then I came back,” the coach said.

“So, you will never know how things will pan out, this is football.

“But as long as a certain person is around I will never come back to Chippa.”