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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

How Lentjies threw Chippa a curve ball by leaving his coaching job

“It was like taking a Grade R teacher and sending him to be a professor at a university," says Mpengesi.

Chippa United boss, Siviwe Mpengesi has explained how the decision to let Kurt Lentjies go and hire Daine Klate as coach came about. 

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Mpengesi revealed that the way Lentjies left the club has thrown them a curve ball because he is still contracted to them as a player. 

Speaking to SAfm’s Thabiso Mosia this week, Mpengesi said Lentjies left in a huff after it was suggested that they get him someone senior to help him. 

Lentjies was elevated to coaching the team when they fired Gavin Hunt last season and he managed to help Chippa avoid the chop. 

“Very disappointed… If there was a word beyond that, I would use it,” said Mpengesi when asked how he felt about Lentjies leaving the club. 

“It could have been a very good story for him. I took a risk on him. He was an inexperienced coach with only an entry level qualification. 

“It was like taking a Grade R teacher and sending him to be a professor at a university. I took that risk and he did well, but of course along the line we realised that there and there were shortcomings caused by lack of experience.”

Mpengesi said as the club they engaged Lentjies with options on how they could help him by bringing someone he could work with. He made an example of how the big teams, especially Mamelodi Sundowns, have a number of coaches in technical teams.    

“Even the best club in South Africa (Sundowns) does not have one coach. They do not even have two, they have a senior coach – they have three senior coaches. That shows you how difficult this job is. 

“I called him (Lentjies), and I tried to convince him, I said, ‘please, let us bring somebody with some experience. It is either he will be your co-coach or your assistant. We want to support you’. 

“But he showed us the middle finger, so what can we do? We have no choice but to go for other options. I know people will always criticise us when we make these decisions. 

“But sometimes we don’t have time to explain our reasons. We are disappointed but the best thing (to do) is to move on. 

“You know they say that the tears of another man are the joy of another. Here we are now, we have Daine Klate.” 

And with Lentjies still contracted to Chippa as a player, it will be interesting to see how this one unravels because he would have to come back and play under Klate who took his coaching job.  

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Chippa United F.C. Daine Klate Siviwe Mpengesi