The 41-year-old has revealed how he ended up signing for Mamelodi Sundowns instead of Amakhosi during his playing days
Newly-appointed Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Dillon Sheppard has revealed he wanted to join the Soweto giants upon his return from Europe in 2006.
According to Sheppard, the Soweto giants didn’t have a place for him at the time and that’s when Mamelodi Sundowns offered him a contract to be part of Gordon Igesund’s league-winning team.
Nonetheless, he’s pleased that he has finally gotten the opportunity to work for Amakhosi albeit on a different role than he initially hoped for.
“In 2006 when I came back from Europe, I wanted to sign for Kaizer Chiefs. Unfortunately, at the time, they didn’t have a spot for me that’s why I went to join another club (Sundowns),” Sheppard said on SA FM.
“But I’m here now, it’s a huge opportunity for me as a coach,” he said.
Sheppard intends to learn as much as possible and grow as a coach but admits there’s a lot of work to be done given the challenges Amakhosi are currently facing.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be here. It’s a chance to learn and grow and we know the challenges; a big club like Chiefs deserves and wants to win trophies and hopefully, we can contribute towards that,” continued Sheppard.
“I’m so pleased to be part of this huge institution and I’m grateful to the chairman for making it possible. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done now and we must put our heads down and do the hard work,” revealed the former Bafana Bafana midfielder.
The 41-year-old mentor also spoke about his relationship with first-team coach Gavin Hunt which goes back to the late ’90s when he first burst into the professional scenes.
Hunt handed Sheppard his professional debut at Seven Stars and again signed him for Bidvest Wits when he was in the twilight of his career seven years ago.
Furthermore, it was Hunt who roped in Sheppard as one of his assistants at Wits before encouraging him to go work with the club’s under-17 team.
When Wits sold their PSL status, Sheppard was their MDC head coach – the role he will still occupy at Chiefs alongside Arthur Zwane while working closely with Hunt in the first-team for the next three seasons.
“Gavin Hunt gave me my debut at Seven Stars in 1998. He also brought me to Wits when I was 36 and we won the league and MTN8. He also gave me the opportunity to join as an assistant and we won the Telkom Knockout Cup. He advised me to take up an under-17 coaching role,” added Sheppard.