After eight seasons without winning a league, the Captain demoted head coach Arthur Zwane to assistant two months ago and promoted Ntseki.
The move shocked many Chiefs supporters, who expected Tunisian Nasreddine Nabi, coach of the CAF Confederation Cup 2023 finalist, Young Africans, to be named.
Nabi is said to want to bring his own technical team behind the scenes while the Chiefs insists he works with Zwane, a former star winger at the Chiefs.
As the Captain prepares to face longtime strugglers Chippa United on Sunday in the first round of Africa’s richest national tournament, Ntseki is upbeat.
“Something special comes”
“Something special will come as long as we’re confident and we believe in it. It’s time to innovate,” he said.
“But winning trophies isn’t just mine, it’s up to the staff, the club, the fans and the players.”
A major problem for the Captain last season was the lack of regular scorers, with the side scoring just 32 goals in 30 league appearances as Zwane repeatedly lamented the ‘opportunities’ missed’.
Burundian Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana is the Captain’s all-time leading scorer in the Premiership with seven goals but fell out of favor after a promising start to his first season with the club.
The inability to score against the Young Africans or the Rollers suggests the problem remains unresolved as a new league campaign begins to emerge.
Competing in Tanzania and Botswana also didn’t go well for some of the captain’s fans, who noted that 2023 champion Mamelodi Sundowns and runner-up Orlando Pirates were set in Europe. In pursuit of a seventh consecutive title, the Sundowns have been busy in the transfer market with new signings including Argentine Junior Mendieta and Brazilian Lucas Ribeiro Costa.
Mendieta left Stellenbosch, who finished sixth in the Premiership last season, while his compatriot Costa played for Belgian side SK Beveren last season.
“The Sundowns are the benchmark for us as they’ve raised the bar again with the signings they’ve made,” said Sekhukhune United coach Brandon Truter, who finished seventh last season.
Sekhukhune hosts the Sundowns in their season opener on Friday while the Pirates face a tough game at Stellenbosch on Saturday.
Coached by Spaniard Jose Riveiro, the Soweto Pirates have bolstered their squad with former Sundowns midfielder Lesedi Kapinga among the new Buccaneers.