Bucs bag top soccer man­ager

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Or­lando Pi­rates have made their first ma­jor sign­ing of the sea­son – and it’s not a player.

In an ef­fort to bol­ster their ad­min­is­tra­tion, Pi­rates have snatched up for­mer PSL gen­eral man­ager of foot­ball Derek Blanck­ensee, who has been with­out a job since he left the league last year af­ter five and a half years.

Blanck­ensee has joined the Buc­ca­neers, but it is not yet clear in what ca­pac­ity. A Pi­rates in­sider said Blanck­ensee even has an of­fice at the club.

The in­sider said Blanck­ensee had been at the club for more than three weeks and was sur­prised no­body had said any­thing about his ap­point­ment.

The for­mer Bid­vest Wits chief ex­ec­u­tive is re­garded as one of the best ad­min­is­tra­tors in the coun­try and is known to be thor­ough. He is ex­pected to jack up the Bucs’ ad­min­is­tra­tion.

He has al­ready been in­volved in the day-to-day run­ning of the club.

He also served as the 2010 Fifa World Cup Lo­cal Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee chief com­pe­ti­tions of­fi­cer.

When con­tacted for com­ment, Blanck­ensee said: “It is for Pi­rates to com­ment.”

Pi­rates chair­per­son Irvin Khoza failed to re­spond to ques­tions sent to him.

Be­fore leav­ing the league, Blanck­ensee was put on special leave pend­ing a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing. But the two parted am­i­ca­bly at the end of Au­gust with­out a hear­ing being held.

“The league wishes to pro­vide clar­ity by plac­ing it on record that none of the charges were re­lated to dis­hon­esty of any kind, but to ad­min­is­tra­tive short­com­ings in his depart­ment in the pro­cess­ing of a regis­tra­tion,” read the league’s state­ment at the time.

Af­ter a poor sea­son, Pi­rates are ex­pected to raid the market once again next sea­son.

They had one of their worst sea­sons in the PSL era when they fin­ished 11th.

They are also ex­pected to off­load a few players who failed to im­press.

Mean­while, the PSL ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee will meet on Thursday to dis­cuss AmaZulu FC’s ap­pli­ca­tion to buy Thanda Royal Zulu.

Thanda en­tered into an agree­ment to sell its sta­tus to AmaZulu af­ter their pro­mo­tion from the Na­tional First Divi­sion.

PHOTO: SAMUEL SHIVAMBU / BACKPAGEPIX

BIG FISH Derek Blanck­ensee has joined Or­lando Pi­rates

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