• Amrouche: I rejected Chiefs but maybe now the timing is right

    Adel Amrouche

    Algerian coach Adel Amrouche has revealed that he rejected the chance to manage Kaizer Chiefs in the past but is now open to joining the club and will head to Johannesburg to continue talks to replace Ernst Middendorp as head coach.

    The Botswana national team coach has been strongly linked with the vacant Chiefs job since the exit of Middendorp last week, with reports across the country suggesting a deal is almost complete.

    The 52-year-old is a vastly experienced coach with two decades of coaching on the continent behind him. He coached MC Alger and USM Alger in his native Algeria and also coaching numerous national teams in Africa.

    In an interview with KickOff.com, Amrouche confirmed he’s been approached by the Soweto giants for a second time after having met them in August last year when he refused to take over Middendorp’s job.

    “The last time I had a meeting with Kaizer Chiefs was before I signed with Botswana, I gave them [BFA] my word and that is why I rejected Chiefs,” Amrouche said.

    “I didn’t also want to take the job of one person who was in the job [Middendorp], I can’t accept that. I have very good relationships with the people at the club but I can’t talk about what they said. I just travelled to Belgium this week to see my family for the first time in six or seven months.”

    The former Royal Union Saint-Gilloise technical director, who returned to Europe this week to attend to family matters while finishing up with his group of students for their Uefa Pro Licence course, also revealed he was offered the Bafana Bafana job.

    “When I left they [Chiefs] did make contact with me but coach Ernst was still in the job, who I respect as a colleague and I told them I won’t entertain. I was also offered the Bafana Bafana job when Stuart Baxter was there and I said no after the Afcon – I don’t go behind coaches’ backs,” Amrouche said before confirming that he’s likely to visit Naturena.

    “Right now I’m still under contract with BFA. When I go to South Africa next week I’m going to see the team, the atmosphere, the structure of the club and maybe then Chiefs will see me as the solution,” he says.

    “I would love to coach in South Africa. I was in the east, the north and the west and now I would like to finish my career in the south. I repeat, this is never about money. I’m still committed to the Botswana project and would need their blessing to leave.

    “I recently got a very good offer from China and I told them the same that I told Chiefs: ‘I am under a contract of Botswana.’ I’ve started to build something exciting with this team.

    “In football, it’s all about timing. If this is the right time now, then maybe? When I get to Johannesburg I will maybe have more details and I need to emphasise my priorities are more about my family than about football now.

    Amrouche added: “After seven months without my family, your priorities can change. Also I teach coaches for the Uefa Pro Licence, I have a group of students I need to finish the course. Being with a national team allows me to do this as I am free for three to four months of the year.

    “For club football, I need to see how this can continue. I’ve rejected clubs from Qatar and all over because when I do something I do it 100 % but for now all I can say is, let’s see what happens. I’ve had contact with Chiefs and that’s good.”

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