South Africa

How Milford’s coach went from Chiefs fan to Amakhosi giant-killer

Xanti Pupuma Milford Chiefs Nedbank Cup

‘No one is hurt at home right now, they are going absolutely crazy!’ said Milford head coach Xanti Pupuma.

Milford FC head coach and chairman Xanti Pupuma appeared slightly startled on Sunday when asked a question about his love for Kaizer Chiefs.

Pupuma’s Motsepe Foundation Championship side had just knocked Amakhosi out of the Nedbank Cup, but while admitting he did once support Chiefs, he explained why he has no regrets about Sunday’s win.

“What are you talking about? This (Milford) is my team,” said Pupuma when asked about his support for Chiefs

“I am a football fan, more than a Chiefs fan.”

“Yes, I grew up following Chiefs, just like certain parties in politics are the majority party and later in life things change, you grow a bit older and there are new developments.

“It is impossible to have a team and be a fan of another, and even more so when you have bought a professional status.”

Milford bought the status of Uthongathi FC at the start of the season to take their place in the Motsepe Foundation Championship.

“We had to be aligned and ensure we put all our effort towards Milford. No one is hurt at home right now, they are going absolutely crazy!”

‘Number one fan’

Pupuma is a gynaecologist by trade, and is the stand-in head coach of the Richards Bay-based side he founded in honour of his father, Milford Pupuma

He says he has no intention of staying on as head coach beyond the end of the season, as Milford attempt to avoid relegation from the Championship.

“I have no ambitions (to stay on) I was tracked to be here by my brothers and the players, it was initially five games and it went on and on,” said Pupuma.

“The plan is to be around (assistant coaches) Zane (Buthelezi), and Nhlanhla (Shongwa). These are players who have come through and moved to the technical side. They are busy getting their badges and I am like the principal ensuring these things are done.

“One the season is over I will go back to being the number one fan and let them do their job.”