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Kopo Discusses Mammila’s Bench Role

Chippa United co-coach Kwanele Kopo says he’s not bothered by former coach-turned- technical director Morgan Mammila sitting on the bench, hailing his role in the club.

Mammila started the season as the United head coach and had an impressive start, which saw Chilli Boyz in the top eight.

However, results stopped coming and he was then moved to the technical director role after winning one match in eight, which saw them dropping out of the top eight and being knocked out of Carling Knockout Cup first round by Stellenbosch FC, who went on to win the trophy.

Kopo and Thabo September were roped in as co-coaches during the 2023 AFCON break and the duo has taken the club by a storm, only losing once which was against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mammila has been sitting on the bench with both coaches and sometimes is seen giving instructions to the players, but Kopo has explained that they need his experience, especially because they are new in the job and it’s their first senior head coaching job.

“It’s something that has been talked about a lot. Coach Morgan [Mammila] was the coach of the team, coach Morgan has been there for a while, he has also been to Swallows as a technical director and he sat on the bench with Musa Nyatama,” Kopo told the media

“So, in 2021, I had an offer to go join Chippa when he was the head coach and he has asked me to come join in terms of coach, from that perspective we developed a relationship and going into a club where we are continuing on the squad we had.

“We felt with coach Thabo [September] that we needed a person like him for the transition, for a smooth transition of managing the players because changing coaches brings different dynamics to teams, certain teams you find that players have an attachment to the previous coach.

“It’s a first head-coach stint for both myself and Thabo September, so we also need to be cautious, not just diving into the swimming pool with excitement. So we need someone that has that experience of managing that environment because it’s not just the tactics it’s also managing the players, it’s also managing the office.

“So coach Morgan, over and above the work he has done technically, he also helps us a lot with the management of the squad, with dealings with the players, with understanding the players with managing the club as a whole in terms of communication with management because we’re still new in the environment and you know when you go to Chippa everybody says you must go with one bag.

“I think coach Morgan is helping us to prolong that stay. We’re happy to have him, we have an understanding with him sitting on the bench, we have discussions about players like I said we still new in coaching me and Thabo.”

Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco is one of South Africa's brightest up-and-coming football journalists. Makonco shot to prominence on social media as a reliable source for South African football news and transfer stories, and is currently working as a junior journalist at iDiski Times.