Solinas: I’m an Ea Lla Koto fan
Posted: 18 September 2018 Time: 12:30
Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas admits he still has a soft spot for Free State Stars ahead of tonight’s “emotional” clash against his former club.
The Italian spent two separate spells in Bethlehem, taking over from Ernst Middendorp in December 2015 as he guided Ea Lla Koto to 12th on the Absa Premiership standings and lead them to the last four of the Nedbank Cup, before quitting in May 2016.
He returned to the club four months later, replacing Denis Lavagne who was sacked after just three matches in charge, yet departed once again in January 2017.
Now as Chiefs coach, Solinas will face his former club for the first time tonight, and admits he’ll have to keep his emotions in check at Goble Park.
“It’s a special game for me,” he said.
“I had a great time in Bethlehem, and I want to thank the Mokoena family – Rantsi and Khotso Mokoena – for giving me the opportunity to work in South Africa, so it’s a special and emotional game.”
Solinas divulged that he remains a Stars fan, and wishes them all the best for the future – except when they play against his Amakhosi side, of course.
“I am a Free State Stars fan, when they don’t play against Chiefs!” he said.
“When they play against Chiefs, this is the life, this is football – I have to take responsibility of my team, and I try to win the game. But I respect Free State Stars and support them, and I wish them all the best for the league and cup, and I wish Ea Lla Koto the best success. But Tuesday is a battle, a football game where everyone will be pushing.”
Following his first league victory with the Glamour Boys, Solinas hopes to continue in the same vein, insisting that he will stick to his philosophy whether playing at home or away.
“The shape of the team is always the same,” he said. “We have our project and system, and keep this system, and don’t change it – whether we play at home or away, our philosophy doesn’t change: we try dominate the game and play attacking football. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, because in football you also have to consider the opponent.”
Kick-off at Goble park is set for 19h30.