Saintfiet: It's easy to work at Chiefs, Pirates


Ex-Free State Stars coach Tom Saintfiet is ready to return to the country in future but to a bigger club, and says he could easily take charge at Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates.

Saintfiet left South Africa in 2014 after a short stint with Ea Lla Koto and is now in charge of a revitalised Gambia national team having joined them in 2018.

The Belgian coach believes he would do much better if he had the opportunity to coach one of the best teams in South Africa.

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"To be honest, it was a mistake for me to start at a club like Free State Stars, with all due respect," Saintfiet tells

"If I see all the coaches who worked there for the last 15 years with top teams like Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United, none of them has a higher profile than me as a coach. They are similar level.

"It is easy to work for these clubs. The pressure is on, thats what I love. You have the best players and infrastructure. That's the only way to achieve something.

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"I can't mention which team I would prefer to work for. As a coach you want the best to compete with the best. But I cant complain how my stay went at Free State Stars.

"I want to work in South Africa in future. It's a beautiful country, top organisation with football-loving people. South Africa has so much potential.

"It will be great to coach a top team again in South Africa. Why not Bafana Bafana? But for now my focus is on Gambia because I enjoy every day working with this team."

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Saintfiet is hoping to take Gambia to the next Africa Cup of Nations finals.

"I have to say I am enjoying myself and I love working in Gambia. I have a great FA, good staff and fantastic players," he says.

"Before my arrival in July 2018, Gambia did not win a competitive match in five years and never won in history a competitive match away. Now almost two years later we are leading a tough group with Gabon, DRC and Guinea.

"We drew twice with Algeria in previous qualifiers, so not bad for a country that was 172 on the FIFA rankings when I arrived, and now we are on 159 according to the rankings."

Can Saintfiet one day join the list of foreign PSL-winning coaches below?