Chiefs kick-off massive preparations

CAF Champions League

Kaizer Chiefs returned to training on Sunday with a full house and are hoping that head coach Stuart Baxter will be on the bench for their historic CAF Champions League final.

In an awkward situation of starting preparations for the biggest game of their history against Al Ahly on July 17, Chiefs must also now prepare for the start of the new season, which is scheduled for next month.

With the dates of the continent’s premier club competition from the previous season spilling over into July, it has meant that Amakhosi have to deal with a rather unusual situation.

Matters related to contracts has been a matter of worry, but information from Naturena suggests that the club has quietly put all of that to rest as all senior players reported back to training on Sunday.

The trio of Bernard Parker, Willard Katsande and Itumeleng Khune will be back with new contracts already ironed out for them.

Matters relating to the rest of the players whose contracts have been said to have run up have also been dealt with internally, considering this odd situation.

The Glamour Boys have now also served their two-window transfer window ban and can again sign and register players, with the club having decided to keep the group that got them into the final, in between welcoming the new faces who will however not be able to play in the mammoth tie against Al Ahly.

Another pending matter is the issuing of Baxter’s work permit, which will allow him to sit on the bench after being appointed as head coach some three weeks ago.

The Briton has had his influence at training but was forced to watch both legs of the semi-finals against Wydad Casablanca from the stands.

Chiefs have already engaged people to work on the processing of Baxter’s papers but the process has understandably been affected by the Covid-19 situation the country currently faces.

There is hope, however, that the papers will be ready by the time the team departs for the final, which is pencilled in to be played in Casablanca on July 17.

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