Baxter: Former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs coach joins Odisha FC

Former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has found a new job in the Indian Super League (ISL). 

Baxter signed a two-year deal with Odisha FC ahead of the seventh edition of the ISL. 

Odisha took to their social media platforms to announce the deal after weeks of being linked with the veteran manager. 

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Baxter had been without a job for almost a year after resigning as head coach of South Africa in 2019. 

His agent, Steve Kapeluschnick, hinted his client would like to return to the PSL but it looks like it will take some time before he could come back. 

He was previously linked with a possible return to Chiefs but he confirmed being approached just once by the Soweto giants - and that was in 2018 when the club was in search of Steve Komphela's replacement. 

On joining the club, the experienced coach told the Indian media: "I'm pleased to say that Odisha FC and I have reached an agreement for the upcoming ISL season. The vision of the Sharma family for the club representing the sporting state of Odisha is an exciting one with development, teamwork and cooperation with our stakeholders serving as cornerstones for the task ahead.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of Indian football and the opportunity to develop players and coaches in India. I'd like to wish all the supporters, players and staff good health during these testing times. Together we will bring joy and success to the region."

Baxter enjoyed huge success with both Chiefs and SuperSport United before accepting the offer to coach Bafana Bafana. 

At Amakhosi, Baxter won four major trophies, including two league titles in 2013 and 2015. 

He won back-to-back Nedbank Cup trophies with Matsatsantsa in 2016 and 2017. 

Baxter's second stint with Bafana was met with criticism but he did fairly well during his two-year stint. 

His biggest challenge was helping South Africa qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup - something that Bafana Bafana failed to do under Baxter's stewardship. 

Baxter would redeem himself by qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals where the 1996 champions exited the tournament at the quarter-final stage.

However, a section of football fans in the country wasn't impressed at all with Baxter's tactics and team selection - and called for his sacking.  

The South African Football Association (Safa) did not heed to calls for Baxter's head and actually wanted the coach to continue until after the 2022 Fifa World Cup finals. 

But the coach felt the pressure was too much and he therefore resigned and went back to Sweden.   

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