Sport

Wits sack coach Boebie Solomons

Sy Lerman

Don't think of becoming a soccer coach if you are looking for job security. The sacking on Friday of Wits University coach Boebie Solomons is confirmation enough, with former Bafana Bafana player and assistant coach Eric Tinkler hoisted into the hot seat for Sunday's game against Moroka Swallows.

Don’t think of becoming a soccer coach if you are looking for job security. The sacking on Friday of Wits University coach Boebie Solomons is confirmation enough, with former Bafana Bafana player and assistant coach Eric Tinkler hoisted into the hot seat for Sunday’s game against Moroka Swallows.

The amiable Cape Town-born Solomons was riding the crest of a wave only a couple of months ago after he had helped guide Wits back to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) a season after they were demoted to the Mvela League and the team was vying strongly for glory while lying in second place among the PSL’s top echelon.

But, for no apparent reason, the wheels have come off for Wits in recent matches and Solomons has been made the scapegoat for the decline.

“We had to take action to halt the slump,” said Wits executive director Derek Blanckensee, “and unfortunately Boebie had to go.”

Blanckensee revealed that while Solomons’s contract extended to the end of the 2007/8 season, there were provisions to terminate the partnership earlier in certain circumstances.

The Wits executive director said Tinkler had been appointed head coach until the end of the season, when the situation would be reviewed.

And it won’t be an easy baptism for Tinkler at Bidvest Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with a more stable Swallows intent on gaining revenge for a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Wits earlier in the season.

Another interim coach whose career is on the line this week-end is Kaizer Chiefs’ Kosta Papic, who takes charge of the Amakhosi for the first time against sprightly Bloemfontein Celtic at King’s Park Stadium on Saturday night.

The stadium shortage in Gauteng has resulted in Chiefs moving this testing home game to Durban, a stone’s throw away from where Papic had a brief, problem-riddled spell with Maritzburg United earlier in the season.

But while all around them seem blighted with problems and inconsistency, Mamelodi Sundowns continue to march relentlessly towards retaining the title.

Ten points ahead of the field with a game in hand after eight successive PSL victories in an unbeaten spell of 12 games overall, the Brazilians appear to have the measure of Santos on Saturday night at the Johannesburg Stadium—with ground headaches in Pretoria resulting in the change of venue.

And with the next 10 clubs trailing well behind Sundowns, most games on the week-end PSL programme will be of vital significance regarding the runners-up position.—Sapa

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