Kado­dia de­lighted as he even­tu­ally lands his coach, De Sa

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - KAM­LESH GO­SAI

A 10-YEAR courtship re­sulted in a two-and-a-half years con­tract af­ter Mar­itzburg United un­veiled Roger De Sa as their new head coach in the KwaZulu-Natal cap­i­tal yes­ter­day.

The mys­tery over Mar­itzburg’s new coach stretched from late Novem­ber, when Ger­man coach Ernst Mid­den­dorp re­signed, and ended at Harry Gwala Sta­dium yes­ter­day when the new coach was in­tro­duced to the me­dia.

The former Bid­vest Wits, San­tos, Or­lando Pi­rates and Ajax Cape Town coach was al­ways Mar­itzburg’s first choice, ac­cord­ing to club chair­man Fa­rook Kado­dia who said that over the past 10 years they failed to se­cure him be­cause the tim­ing didn’t suit ei­ther party.

On this oc­ca­sion when Mar­itzburg popped the ques­tion De Sa was said to be bid­ing his time in an­tic­i­pa­tion of be­ing a con­tender for the Bafana Bafana post which was va­cated when Ephraim Mashaba was booted out by Safa.

De Sa con­firmed that he “looked at a few of­fers care­fully,” but that none of those were from the na­tional mother body. In­stead he needed time to round off is­sues re­lated to var­i­ous busi­ness in­ter­ests, and only planned to avail him­self from Jan­uary.

“It’s not true; I’ve never spo­ken to Safa and Safa have never spo­ken to me,” said De Sa flatly when asked about ru­mours he was set to fill the na­tional hot seat. “When­ever I open the news­pa­per and read about my life, it’s like you guys know more about my life. As far as Safa is con­cerned, it was fab­ri­cated.”

Ear­lier this week Kado­dia was re­luc­tant to con­firm De Sa as the new coach be­cause he had not signed a con­tract. With the for­mal­i­ties con­cluded, Kado­dia gushed about hav­ing fi­nally landed his man.

“The coach and I go back a long way, 10 years, but the op­por­tu­nity to work to­gether didn’t come. Now we have a coach we be­lieve has the qual­ity we need. He has rich play­ing value and lots of coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. More es­pe­cially, he has an im­pec­ca­ble record of pro­mot­ing youth who are play­ing for big teams.

“KwaZulu-Natal has a lot of play­ers who float out of the prov­ince all the time to other teams and we need to pro­mote this tal­ent and give it a plat­form,” said Kado­dia.

Im­prov­ing their devel­op­ment sys­tem is a long term project com­pared to the im­me­di­ate goal of es­tab­lish­ing the Team of Choice as a reg­u­lar top eight team. Chair­man and coach were in agree­ment that the cur­rent side can achieve the im­me­di­ate tar­get of a top eight fin­ish.

A run to a cup fi­nal along the way as well as the pro­mo­tion of more play­ers into in­ter­na­tional foot­ball will be a bonus to help im­prove the Mar­itzburg brand and at­tract spon­sor­ship to be­gin to con­sis­tently chal­lenge the big­ger clubs.

“There are chal­lenges be­ing in a city that doesn’t draw mas­sive spon­sor­ships. The chal­lenge will be to match up and we can only do it through suc­cess,” said De Sa.

“We have to be more con­sis­tent, get into the top eight reg­u­larly and have a de­cent cup run. I’m ab­so­lutely happy with the foun­da­tion es­tab­lished by Steve (Kom­phela) and Ernst, and now it’s im­por­tant to keep the ship on course.”

He takes over from Fadlu Davids who took charge of their last five games be­fore the break and fin­ished un­beaten. Davids will re­vert to his as­sis­tant coach role while con­tin­u­ing his stud­ies to­wards a Uefa A li­cence badge.

The Mar­itzburg squad re­grouped yes­ter­day to re­sume train­ing for the sec­ond half of the sea­son which gets un­der­way next month af­ter the Africa Cup of Na­tions in Gabon is com­pleted. Their first match un­der the new coach will be away to Polok­wane City on Fe­bru­ary 8.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.