Kaizer Chiefs' Steve Komphela hoping for shift in South African football culture
Posted: 20 February 2018 Time: 16:00
Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela has downplayed the personal significance of watching the supporters sing and cheer the team on following their win over Cape Town City.
Amakhosi have gone nine games unbeaten since December last year, winning six and drawing three, to keep themselves in the running for the Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup double.
Their latest victory was a dominant display over City, despite the 1-0 scoreline suggesting otherwise, which earned plaudits from the fans gathered at FNB Stadium over the weekend.
It was quite a contrast to the jeers and calling for his head from the stands that Komphela has often endured in his time at the club.
“For any coach at Chiefs, it should never be about you. It’s about the process and the brand of football we play as a club,” said Komphela.
“There’s a stage where even in Germany, Borussia Dortmund was going through terrible times, yet they still enjoyed the support.
“It then talks to the question of, ‘Do you play well and then get them coming in or do they come in to support you and you play well?’. It’s a question of chicken and egg – which one came first?
“I strongly believe our responsibility as athletes, coaches and players is to give good performances, so that whoever paid to come to the stadium can enjoy.
“It will be nice to fill the stadiums. This is an industry, we have to protect and add value to it, so as coaches we do the best that we can – give what the supporters and clubs want.
“You are in line with the model of the club. You don’t work for yourself, you’re a man of process, so looking at yourself should be second – don’t even consider that.
“Look at working within the institution, and do what the institution aspires to achieve. When supporters celebrate, it’s brilliant. Does it give confidence to the players? Yes. When players don’t do well, do we need them? For sure, yes.
“That we’re not doing well and they’re disgruntled, and not giving us the energy, doesn’t help the players. We’re delighted that players are doing well and supporters are enjoying it.”
Komphela hopes that Chiefs continue to generate numbers and positivity in the stands.
“I hope and wish that we consolidate this and create a culture – not only for Kaizer Chiefs but in South Africa – where you support your team through thick and thin,” he added.
“Because they need you [supporters] when they are down. Can you help push them? And when they are doing well, then it’s for you then to enjoy it.
“At all times we would love to have gold and black shirts fully packed, irrespective the log position, because we need them to get up and give the players energy. If that culture could be created, it would help everybody.”