Kaizer Chiefs legend Reneilwe “Yeye” Letsholonyane is nearing his return to the Village in Naturena not as a player this time around but as a technical team member.
Despite denials from Chiefs’ Sporting Director, Kaizer Motaung Junior, SABC Sport can reveal that Letsholonyane appears to be getting ready for a position in a technical capacity at the club.
An Amakhosi legend who played over 220 matches, scoring 25 goals and contributing 23 assists in a career that spanned over eight years at the club, Letsholonyane’s return to Chiefs has been on the cards for some time now.
Besides the scouting link, the 40-year-old had also previously been linked with a coaching role in the Chiefs development academy.
Armed with a UEFA C-License and currently working on a CAF B license in Zambia, with the South African Football Association (SAFA) only expected to resume its CAF coaching courses in the next month or two, ‘Yeye’ has been doing a lot to equip himself behind the scenes.
Motaung Jnr was non-committal on Thursday when the public broadcaster’s sports desk asked him about Letsholonyane’s link to a scouting role at the club, though he also didn’t rule it out.
“To be honest, there was no formal communication about Yeye as a scout. That was actually something that came up in the media. We know Yeye is upskilling himself and is a great stalwart of the club, a great character and there’s nothing official in that capacity.
“But, for us, it is definitely an area where we will be looking to bring people who understand the culture of the team, as well as the modern trends of football.”
SABC Sport spotted the former Bafana Bafana star in the company of Chiefs’ Head of Technical and Youth Development Molefi Ntseki, as well as reserve team head coach Vela Khumalo, during a Varsity Cup game at Milpark Stadium on Thursday night.
Interestingly, this was also on the same day Chiefs had parted ways with their former scout and analyst Sinesipho Mali, while the earlier departure of their head of scouting Walter “Baresi” Steenbok means that only club legend Donald “Ace” Khuse remains in the scouting department, though he also doubles as the U19 head coach.
“Scouting becomes key, also the personnel in the scouting department becomes key. We’ve restructured with a high-performance department, we are restructuring on the players’ side and on the technical side,” Motaung Jnr added.
“There are also things we are going to be introducing on the recruitment side that we’re busy with in the backroom, so scouting becomes key, but it is ongoing and every day, you know.”
Meanwhile, SABC Sport has learnt that Chiefs and Mali officially parted ways on Thursday after the Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana and South African U23 match performance analyst had worked for three years at Naturena as an analyst, technical scout and loans manager.
Contrary to previous reports that Mali had been hauled before the club’s DC on charges of misconduct, SABC Sport understands that the two parties reached an amicable decision to go their separate ways, which was concluded on Thursday afternoon.
By Velile Mnyandu