THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Firstly, I would like to express my appreciation of all the support and messages of condolences I received following the passing of my son, Thabo Ceyland Motaung.
I was touched by your presence during a lengthy and painful week of grief until he was finally rested. May I also thank those who may have whispered silent prayers to lift our down-trodden spirits and pray that you continue to offer your generous love and support to many families that may experience the tragedy of losing their loved one.
We have begun in earnest our preparations for the new season by welcoming our players and new colleagues into the village. Together with the technical team, they started their training by completing stringent medical tests. Thankfully, the tests were encouraging to indicate that our players remained true to their off-season training programme.
Except for a few players who had a touch of flu, only those who were on national assignment were rested. They will join their colleagues, who are currently quarantined in camp, to complete our preparations for the season after a week of recuperation.
In consolidating our team and after much speculation, we can confirm that Siboniso Gaxa, Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Nkosi, Kgotso Moleko, Sakhile Hlongwa, and Brilliant Khuzwayo are members of our family. Erick Mathoho joins the squad after much drama around his acquisition. We are still in pursuit of some players and will present them when all processes are complete. The Technical Team remains unchanged.
I must admit that the process has not been an easy one considering that we have had to part ways with several of our key players, including the long-serving Tinashe Nengomasha. I thank all of them for their contribution and hope they succeed in their new-found homes and pursuits.
The Coach has also stated his case and expectation after reviewing a lot of recorded material of the past season. In brief sessions, he has met players and he is off on a great start at camp. Our boys will be heading to a secluded training facility where a rigorous programme will be applied to sharpen them for the new season.
The road ahead certainly promises to be a tough one considering that other teams are entertaining the same intentions of lifting more silverware just like us. Even newly-promoted teams like University of Pretoria and Chippa United promise to fight tooth and nail to record their presence in the Premier League.
Our first test of character is the recently launched Gauteng Sports Challenge, a four-team competition that will be hosted at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville Tshwane. The event will help assess our team against the likes of SuperSport United, Moroka Swallows and BidVest Wits. The big one is obviously the derby against Orlando Pirates in the innovative Carling Cup competition.
Management has also put supportive systems in place to deliver a fortified campaign in the new season. The Marketing Department has completed their plans while the Supporters section is also ready to reach out to thousands of our passionate followers. Everything obviously points at one goal, of restoring Kaizer Chiefs as a champion team on our soil.
We are also working hard on reshaping our development structures and hope to finalise our plans soon. We have adopted a fairly wide approach of looking into their physical infrastructure, education, life skills, technical and tactical abilities.
We are hoping to tap more into Head Coach Stuart Baxter’s additional mandate of developing future youngsters for the senior team. I believe with everything in place, our team shall once more rise to claim its No 1 spot in football as a business and a sporting entity.
In welcoming our supporters, may I encourage them to work with us through the season by showing an undivided spirit of lifting our team through exciting and tough times. I believe we could do better with patience and a love for our brand on and off the grandstands.
The booing of our players is still my main concern and can be healed only when supporters show a little courtesy and appreciation of our players’ efforts on the field. Regrettably, this only happens in South Africa and nowhere else in the world. I abhor such behavior because it deflates the players’ moral when they look up to their twelfth player for encouragement yet face a barrage of abuse when the heat becomes unbearable on the field.
I just wish our supporters could stop such lunacy and learn from the supporters of Germany that stood behind their team despite the two-goal deficit against Italy in the semifinals of the recent 2012 European Championships. Amazingly they were more vociferous until the final whistle; one would have mistaken them for winners!
May we therefore join hands to make 2012/13 a season of revival, fun and happiness.
I would like to join millions of South Africans in mourning the passing of Ina Perlman, a leader and a woman I may aptly refer to as a “Champion of the poor”. Through her organisation, Operation Hunger, Ina touched the lives of many impoverished communities particularly those in former apartheid bantustans where she fed and provided relief assistance in the form of small scale farming projects and skill development projects.
It was because of her charitable and humanitarian work that we started the Iwisa Charity Spectacular until recently the Telkom Charity Cup to aid her mission of bringing a difference in the lives of many marginalized communities.
May Ina rest knowing that she was called to serve the poor and not as one who sought flattering accolades when she steered Operation Hunger into South Africa’s prime charity organisation that fought the injustices of a repressive apartheid regime.
I pray that her family and those who she touched remain strong during these painful times.
Kaizer Motaung (Mr.)