8 deals showing Chiefs’ new vision

Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs have in recent years made a habit of mass axings and squad overhauls but it seems the club has finally found the correct balance within their squad.

Chiefs appear to have turned over a new leaf this season with the renewal of no less than eight contracts, which is the exact number of players released a year ago.

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Amakhosi last season released Pule Ekstein, Bongolethu Jayiya, Virgil Vries, Ryan Moon, Gustavo Paez, Emmanuel Leltlotlo, Brylon Petersen and Khotso Malope.

These became part of a long list of over 40 players that were discarded since 2016 including, among others, the likes of Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siboniso Gaxa, Siyanda Xulu, Tsepo Masilela, Keagan Buchanan, Edmore Chirambadare and Michelle Katsvairo.

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However, following the renewal deal struck with Colombian forward Leonardo Castro recently, the club has tied down a total of seven players – six of which have been done since January, suggesting a change in vision from management.

This could be credited to coach Ernst Middendorp’s transformation of a team that embarrassingly ended in ninth position in the league and lost a Nedbank Cup final to TS Galaxy last year, to now leading the log standings.

READ: Huge boost for Chiefs, Downs' title hopes

Another factor perhaps is that the club is currently under a two-window transfer ban handed down upon them by world football governing body FIFA, due to their signing of Madagascan ‘Dax’ Andriamirado Andrianarimanana, which is still on appeal with CAS.

Meanwhile, as far as staff go, Steve Komphela, Doctor Khumalo, Patrick Mabedi, John Paintsil, Rob Hutting and Giovanni Solinas have also been rotated in the last few seasons, but this time goalkeeper Lee Baxter has been retained on a new deal. 

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