Komphela fires salvo at haters
Coach decries ‘negativity’ of fans
Bloemfontein Celtic coach Steve Komphela has decried what he believes to be a culture of negativity surrounding South African football‚ which he says has an adverse effect on the product.
There seemed no small degree of personal experience he was mixing into his message as he laid into the critics.
Komphela experienced a torrid time for just under three seasons at Kaizer Chiefs, where he was hounded by his own disgruntled supporters in the stands and received a fair share of criticism in the media.
The coach compared that situation to what he has been experiencing with a flying start of four wins and a draw at Celtic‚ despite arriving to player strikes and the possibility of the club being sold.
“There is a difference between a fan and a supporter,” Komphela said.
“Celtic supporters‚ those guys‚ they support their team. Those are the people who go there and sing their lungs out.
“In Thohoyandou we also saw something – it was unbelievable [as Celtic beat Black Leopards 1-0 at a packed Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday].
“Now when you start highlighting that‚ speaking well about that‚ and not diluting it‚ it reinforces.
“And it is an indirect invite to any other potential supporter‚ or to any other fan who thinks they are a supporter.
“Then they will start to support and learn what it means.
“But what is the identity of a proud South African? Has it been diluted?
“Have we passed on too many conflicting messages to South Africans‚ so that they don’t know what is it to support their nation? It’s sad.
“One thing we fail to do is to build our people; to give guidance and direction.
“We need to change the way we think. We keep on condemning and condemning and condemning; and expect compliments – it can never be.
“We condemn everything that moves‚ and immediately the next day we ask‚ ‘but where are these supporters?’
“My man‚ you rubbished the product and they moved away from it‚ and you’re asking‚ ‘where are they?’
“Invite them by reflecting the positives. Show all the good things that happened in the product. You will add one‚ or two‚ or three [supporters].”
Second-placed Celtic’s next league game is against Maritzburg United in Bloemfontein on Sunday.