Kaizer Chiefs will have little time in licking their wounds following their continental silver medal as they prepare for the new PSL season.
The club may still be reeling from their 3-0 humbling in the final of the CAF Champions League but will know there is not much time to waste ahead of the new campaign.
There is plenty of room for improvement from the Glamour Boys, who only qualified for the MTN8 on the final day when they edged TS Galaxy in the last matchweek.
It’s been a tumultous few months for the club who parted ways with coach Gavin Hunt and returned to the guidance of Stuart Baxter. While Hunt was unable to bolster his squad due to the transfer ban in place, Baxter will have many new options to choose from.
The likes of Brandon Peterson, Sifiso Hlanti, Phathutshedzo Nange, Njabulo Ngcobo, Sibusiso Mabiliso, and Kgaogelo Sekgota have all been signed for the new campaign.
Given Thibedi has also returned from Swallows although the biggest talking point pre-season will be whether or not Baxter can persuade Keagan Dolly to commit his future to Chiefs.
If Dolly does agree to join the struggling giants, he will make it 2/3 of the infamous Mamelodi Sundowns CBD now at Chiefs. Although there is still much speculation around Khama Billiat, who endured an injury ravaged campaign.
Coach Baxter was not prepared to launch a title bid just yet following his side’s miss at continental glory.
“For our supporters, I hope that they see that this is work in progress now and we are pushing in the right direction. How quickly we can do that will depend on a lot of things, not least that we will stick together, and the supporters feel motivated by this and will get behind the boys and make a real feast of it in the season to come,” Baxter told the club’s media.
The former Bafana Bafana coach oversaw the club’s last PSL title back in 2015 (it also represents the last trophy won). His departure coincided with an ageing squad and the subsequent struggles Amakhosi have endured.
Tanzanian striker Ismail Aziz Kada is another player linked with Chiefs in the current transfer window.
How effective Baxter be will in his return to the dugout at Naturena remains to be seen. Can he get the best out of Billiat? Will he help the club out of its slumber and will the numerous new faces be able to settle down and find some sort of rhythm at their new club?
It’s been a season of change and Chiefs could surely do with some improvement across the park. As it currently stands, they are not posing the biggest threat to Sundowns’ local domination.