Kaizer Chiefs lining up Fernando Da Cruz to boost technical team

Kaizer Chiefs lining up Fernando Da Cruz to boost technical team

SABC Sport has established that Kaizer Chiefs are set to unveil French-Portuguese mentor Fernando Da Cruz as a member of their technical team.

It’s not the first time the 51-year-old former FAR Rabat technical director has been linked with a move to Naturena, having been in talks with the Soweto giants as a replacement for Arthur Zwane a year ago. 

Da Cruz is now expected to arrive in Johannesburg this week to begin to lay the groundwork for incoming coach Nasreddine Nabi, as earlier reported by SABC Sport.

The two have not worked together before, but it’s believed Nabi has insisted on Da Cruz being part of his technical team after being impressed by his work with FAR, where he succeeded the Frenchman at the start of the 2023/24 season.

A well-travelled coach, Da Cruz comes with immense experience as some in the football fraternity have argued that he is responsible for their Botola Pro League title win despite leaving them before the campaign could be wrapped up. 

Da Cruz had initially been hired as the club’s technical director in 2021, but when Sven Vandenbroeck abruptly left the team, he was asked to takeover – surprisingly stringing together good results to push them to the top of the table the following season. 

According to information gathered by SABC Sport in recent weeks, The Glamour Boys will confirm Nabi as their head coach after finally acceding to the coach's request for the freedom to recruit his own backroom staff. 

Nabi was in talks with Chiefs this time last year on the back of winning a league and cup double in Tanzania, where he opted not to have his contract extended by Young Africans despite his success. 

In looking for a fresh challenge, the Tunisian seemed keen on joining Chiefs and agreed personal terms. But the stumbling block was the fact that he would not be able to rope in his own technical team.

He then instead moved to Morocco, where he just missed out on the championship on the final day of the campaign last weekend, as rivals Raja Casablanca, who is led by former Orlando Pirates mentor Josef Zinnbauer, clinching the title. 

But Chiefs have now had to pay compensation to the Rabat-based outfit to release Nabi , and Da Cruz, who has been without a club since May 2023, is set to join him at Amakhosi.

An announcement is expected imminently, once FAR conclude their run in the Moroccan Throne Cup, where they face Maghreb de Fes in the semi-finals on Sunday. 

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