Chiefs and Pirates’ cross-pollination
This week’s surprise move by former Kaizer Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertuğral to rivals Orlando Pirates makes him the sixth coach to have coached both Soweto giants. While most coaches started at Chiefs, Serbian mentor Kosta Papić remains the only one to have moved from the opposite direction – but was unsuccessful at both sides.
While Ertuğral’s capabilities cannot be questioned, it begs the question: do the Bucs target their neighbour’s former coaches?
Ertuğral might not have won the league during his stint at Amakhosi, but he was nevertheless successful during his two stints with the Glamour Boys. The Turkish-born mentor was first introduced to South African football in 2001 and almost had a clean sweep, winning the Coca-Cola Cup, Vodacom Challenge, BP Top Eight and CAF Africa Cup Winners Cup (Mandela Cup), but failed to win the league.
Two seasons ago, Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza again surprised all when he hired another former Chiefs mentor Vladimir Vermezović. The Serb went on to win the Nedbank Cup with the Buccaneers but never lasted, as he was relieved of his duties in 2014.
The crossover started way back in the 1980s. In 1984, Chiefs hired Scot Joe Frickleton, who won four trophies. In 1995 Frickleton was part of the technical team when Pirates won the CAF Champions League title.
The late Romanian-born coach Ted Dumitru also sat in the dugout of both clubs.
Dumitru won eight trophies with the Naturena-based team from 1985 to 1988.
He also won the league championships backto-back when he returned for his second stint at Amakhosi in 2003.
But before that, he also coached Pirates in 1999, but did not enjoy much success.
Former Bafana Bafana coach Augusto Palacios also coached Amakhosi before joining the Buccaneers.
– Solven Sibiya