After a turbulent 2018-19 season which saw them led by four different head coaches, Chippa United appear to have had a predictably unpredictable off-season.
It was initially announced that the Chilli Boys had brought in Caio Marcelo, Gladwin Shitolo, Phetso Maphanga and Diamond Thopola from Orlando Pirates for the new campaign. However, a Soccer Laduma report then claimed that only Thopola had made the switch. Apparently, Marcelo returned to Brazil, Shitolo went to Golden Arrows and Maphanga’s future is up in the air at the time of writing, although he has left Pirates and Chippa do still appear interested.
And so continues the Chippa United rollercoaster. Dan Malesela, Eric Tinkler and Joel Masutha all experienced the worst side of this with all three coaches being forced to depart prematurely last season. At least they have found some degree of stability under Clinton Larsen — for the time being, at least.
Unfortunately for Chippa, the constant turmoil at the club has hampered their progress and they will do well to survive another season in the top flight. They have qualified for the MTN8 in the not too recent past (2015-16), but at this stage, such an achievement would merely be a huge bonus.
Survival should be the main priority for Chippa United, even if those involved in the running of the club would never admit as much.
A TimesLIVE article has claimed that there is some uncertainty ahead regarding Chippa United’s future in Port Elizabeth. Their contract with the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is reportedly set to expire in December and they might have to move back to Cape Town.
Nevertheless, at least owner Siviwe Mpengesi and coach Larsen are making the right noises about life on the field of play following the later being awarded a two-year contract.
“We want Clinton to consolidate on the progress we recorded towards the end of the last season, and also ensure that we never find ourselves in the relegation zone again,” said Mpengesi, as quoted by IOL.
“His new mandate is to ensure that the boys finish among the top eight in the upcoming season. Clinton is a valued member of the Chippa United family, and he has a good team to manage,”
Meanwhile, Larsen said: “This is a special club, with good players and passionate supporters who love the team. It feels good to be part of the team and to take it into the future.
“I thank the chairman for expressing confidence in me. I won’t disappoint.”
Chippa United nicknames
The Chilli Boys
Chippa United history
Chippa United was initially founded in January 2010 when chairman Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi bought Mbekweni Cosmos’ Vodacom League status. They were based in Nyanga, Western Cape in their early days but eventually relocated to Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
Chippa United have been a proverbial “yo-yo club”, hopping up and down divisions, but they appear to have found a certain degree of stability for the moment as far as league standing goes. They have been a top flight club since 2014-15 despite narrowly avoiding relegation on several occasions.
There have been many coaches at Chippa United including Vladislav Herić, Kosta Papić, Ernst Middendorp and Teboho Moloi. None have managed to last long under the leadership of Chippa Mpengesi but the club has generally been on an upward trajectory since formation.
They have struck a good business relationship with Orlando Pirates, with many players switching between these two clubs. Examples include Thabo Rakhale, Diamond Thopola and Linda Mntambo.
“There is no formal relationship‚ it is more an off-the-cuff thing‚” explained Orlando Pirates football administrator Floyd Mbele to TimesLIVE.
“It depends on what part of the football tier you are on.
“If you are in the middle tier‚ then you know that big clubs will want to sign players and they will likely identify a few of yours as the season goes on.
“Teams from the same tier‚ such as Chiefs-Pirates or Sundowns-Pirates‚ will only do business with each other very occasionally because you do not want to help your competitor out in the transfer market.
“Why would you want to make your rival stronger?
“So the likelihood of them releasing players to one another is next to nothing. That means you have to find clubs with the right players‚ who are willing to do business with you.
“There has been a lot of movement between Pirates and Chippa in the last few years‚ but before that‚ if memory serves‚ there was a lot of transfers between Chippa and Sundowns.
“At that time‚ Sundowns were sending more players out on loan‚ which is no longer the case.
“So it is really just coincidental that there is so much movement between Prates and Chippa‚ as the clubs‚ in their current situations‚ find that they can assist each other in the market.
“But maybe next year it will be Chiefs or Sundowns again.”
Chippa occasionally play home games in Mdantsane, where they tend to attract swathes of support. However, their main home remains the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at least for the time being.
Chippa United: Latest news and live scores
Chippa United: Live scores
Chippa United 2019-20 squad
Forwards: Andile Mbenyane, Rhulani Manzini, Lerato Manzini, Tebogo Tlolane, Tebogo Makobela, Ruzaigh Gamildien
Midfilders: Daine Klate, Thabane Thopola, Thabo Rakhale, Kurt Lentjies, Phetso Maphanga, William Twala, Meshack Maphangule, Boikanyo Komane
Defenders: Thabo Nthethe, Donashano Malama, Mzikayise Mashaba, Sandile Mthethwa, Zitha Macheke, Gaona Modisane, Donashano Malama, Bangali Keita, Frédéric Nsabiyumva
Goalkeepers: Amour Patrick Tignyemb, Zwelisha Mbongeni Mzimela, Mwampule Masule
Chippa United: PSL season 2019-20 fixtures and results