Search on for a coach to get the Happy Peo­ple smil­ing again

CityPress - - Sport - S’BU­SISO MSE­LEKU sm­se­leku@city­press.co.za

And then there were six! This is the lat­est from Orlando Pi­rates, who have been with­out a per­ma­nent coach since Turk­ish na­tional Muhsin Er­tuğral left in a huff in Novem­ber fol­low­ing an em­bar­rass­ing 6-1 drub­bing by Su­perS­port United.

The Iron Duke of South African foot­ball, Irvin Khoza, told City Press on Fri­day the club had whit­tled the can­di­date list for the most plum – but also the hottest – coach­ing seat in do­mes­tic foot­ball down to six.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “When you em­ploy a coach for Orlando Pi­rates, he must be a per­fect fit. The coach must im­me­di­ately gel with play­ers.”

Khoza said he had in­ter­viewed a num­ber of can­di­dates since Er­tuğral’s de­par­ture.

“And we have man­aged to nar­row the list down to six can­di­dates ... two lo­cals and four for­eign­ers,” he said. “Some have im­pres­sive CVs, but when you sit down with them you no­tice the lan­guage bar­rier. I think to my­self, ‘If I strug­gle to fol­low what he is try­ing to say, what about the play­ers? Will they be able to fol­low his in­struc­tions?’”

Khoza said mod­ern coach­ing was no longer just a mat­ter of de­vis­ing and im­ple­ment­ing tac­tics, but that a coach also needed to have an in­depth un­der­stand­ing of play­ers.

“You need a coach who un­der­stands each and ev­ery player, how to utilise them and how to get the best out of them.”

Ad­dress­ing the con­cerns of many mem­bers of the Ghost fam­ily that their beloved Buc­ca­neers will face the mighty Mamelodi Sun­downs in a mouth-wa­ter­ing Absa Premier­ship fix­ture on Satur­day with­out a per­ma­nent coach, The Duke said: “It would not have made that much of a dif­fer­ence to rush into em­ploy­ing a new coach. He would still be set­tling into the busi­ness by the time this game comes.”

Given that this is not just an or­di­nary year as Pi­rates – who were founded in 1937 – are cel­e­brat­ing their 80th an­niver­sary, their myr­iad sup­port­ers are ex­pect­ing the club to win at least one of the re­main­ing sil­ver­ware on of­fer this sea­son.

With the MTN8 and the Telkom Knock­out Cup al­ready hav­ing slipped through their fin­gers, they are left with the Ned­bank Cup and the league title to sal­vage what is al­ready shap­ing up to be an­other hor­ri­ble sea­son.

Their cur­rent po­si­tion – they are 10th on the log with 18 points from 13 matches – doesn’t in­spire any hope or con­fi­dence that they can an­nex the league title.

That leaves them with only the Ned­bank Cup, coin­ci­den­tally the last tro­phy to dec­o­rate the club’s cab­i­net in their Park­town board­room in 2014.

Any­one au fait with South African foot­ball would know that this is not good enough for a club like Pi­rates.

Worse still, the drought came after back-to-back tre­bles be­tween 2010 and 2012 that led to Pi­rates fans bap­tis­ing them­selves “Happy Peo­ple”.

Given all this back­ground, it is ob­vi­ous that Khoza will have to come up with a coach that will not only bring overnight suc­cess, but share the im­por­tance and value of the Orlando Pi­rates brand to sus­tain it into the fu­ture.

The club launched a green away kit with the slo­gan “Ev­er­green” for this sea­son. This needs to be trans­lated into ac­tion on the pitch.

Who­ever lands the plum job will have their work cut out for them.


HEAD HON­CHO Orlando Pi­rates chairman Irvin Khoza has a clear idea of the coach he wants

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