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Khompela looking forward to new challenge 19/08/04
Steve Khompela has had an bumpy road as a club coach in the PSL, but is now looking forward to his new appointment as assistant coach to Bafana Bafana manager Stuart Baxter.

He was just beginning to find his mark as the coach of Dynamos and the players were responding very well and the results were coming his team's way, but then due to uncontrollable circumstances, he was forced to leave the Giyani club and join Manning Rangers, who he guided away from the relegation zone and helped them to the finals of the Absa Cup.

That was the life of the former Bafana Bafana captain Steve Khompela last season and when he thought that he was going to work with his new club during the off season, he could not agree with Manning Rangers' management and he packed his bags.

"I did not agree with the management of Rangers about the way forward for the team and I then found out that I did not have a job any more with them," said Khompela who spent a number of years playing in Turkey.

"Just when I was thinking about my next move, South Africa Football Association (Safa) offered me a job as the assistant coach to Stuart Baxter in place of Styles Phumo, who will take over as the national under-23 coach," he said.

Khompela, who claims to speak more than ten languages, said that he is happy to be offered a chance to be the second in-command of Bafana Bafana.

"It is every coach's dream to coach his national team at any level and I am happy with my new job, it will help me to grow as a coach under Baxter," said the outspoken Khompela

Khompela was the first player to captain Bafana Bafana after South Africa was readmitted into international football in the early 90's.

The coach, who is known to speak his mind out even to his bosses when he is not happy with the way the beautiful game is administrated, had a chance to talk to his new boss Baxter before he left for Tunisia with Bafana Bafana.

"I had a one-on-one with the coach of the national team and I must say that I am happy with the way our meeting progressed.

"I know his programme for the team and I know what I am supposed to do and that will make my job very exciting," explained Khompela.

He said that he is not concerned that people may say that he should be his own boss rather than being an assistant to  another coach.

"I have been a coach of clubs, but now I am an assistant national coach, if anyone says that this is a demotion, then let that be, because to me, the chance does not come every day to be part and parcel of the national team," he claimed.

Khompela will be taking over his new job when the national team comes back from national duties against Tunisia.

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