Baxter’s arrival brought life out of the squad, says Parker


Kaizer Chiefs stand-in captain Bernard Parker believes the return of Stuart Baxter as the club’s new head coach is already having the desired effect.

Parker was asked this week what he thought of Chiefs’ management’s decision to replace Gavin Hunt with Baxter. “The change has brought life out of the squad, not only on the field but also in the dressing rooms as well,” he said.

The veteran striker went on to state that all the players at ‘Amakhosi’ are happy to have their old tactician back and are eager to impress.

Baxter is back at Chiefs after six years and during his three-year stint between 2012 and 2015, the Englishman led the club to four major titles, including two league titles with the Soweto giants clinching their last piece of silverware under his guidance.

“The guys are happy, by happy I mean wherever in the world, not only in football, also in a work environment, whenever there’s a change, we all want to impress the boss,” added Parker, who arguably played some of his best football at Chiefs under Baxter.

“This is what the guys want to do – they want to impress the boss and others who didn’t play, now it is their chance to impress Baxter, so that is a good thing. With coach Arthur [Zwane] and Dillon [Sheppard], what they have done, they have brought the spark back in terms of belief and that belief will tick all the other boxes in terms of your confidence and motivation as well as courage.

“With them in charge, we got positive results [in the last few league games to finish the 2020/21 season in the top-eight]. Now Baxter, who is home again I would say, knows the club and players in and out which is also an extra plus.

“So, it’s exciting times again for the brand and we only want to work hard and work together, have that working relationship to get the brand where it belongs and the best out of each other,” concluded the former Bafana Bafana international.

Baxter, who has overseen the training sessions in Naturena is yet to be issued with a work permit. The ‘Glamour Boys’ confirmed that assistant coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard will instead take charge of the first leg of the Caf Champions League semifinal clash against Wydad Casablanca at the Stade Mohammed V on Saturday (21:00).

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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi

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