Kjell: I need my Pirates to ‘open up’
KJELL JONEVRET admits he’s no psychologist. However, the Swedish-born Orlando Pirates coach,
pictured, says he really needs to have a proper sitdown with all his players and get them to open up about what has been a disastrous 2016/17 season.
This past season, the Sea Robbers finished outside of the top eight bracket, while also failing to produce some form of silverware in a season in which they were set to celebrate their 80th anniversary.
Jonevret, who’s been working with the side during this off-season for the past week and a half leading up to the new campaign, said it was very important that they went through the nitty-gritties of what really went wrong for them, and also to identify what areas they really need to improve on for the new season.
“It’s not easy,” Jonevret said. “But I thought the players were great the whole time since I arrived here. At the beginning, they were a little afraid (in the way they played). There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, and I just hope that they can put this past season behind them and are now looking forward to the new campaign.
“We’ve been having individual talks with most of the players already,” Jonevret added. “We’ve spoken to almost 80 per cent of the club as we speak. (Just yesterday), I was a bit late for our training session because we were in a meeting for about half an hour with a few of our players discussing a few things regarding what they think we’ve done right, and what areas we really need to improve on. “We are planning to go on a camp where I believe we’ll have the perfect time to work on such things (and let them open up a bit more).” To help add to their squad leading up to the new season, the Sea Robbers have acquired the services of Nigerian striker Christopher Obiozor, Musa Nyatama, Thamsanqa Sangweni and former Mamelodi Sundowns’ shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands. It is in these players that Jonevret hopes his side will have some form of luck in every competition they’ll get to participate in in the new season, following their curtain-raiser against Kaizer Chiefs in a Carling Black Label clash this Saturday at FNB Stadium. “When I first heard about the (Carling Black Label Cup concept) I was like: ‘What? What is that,’” Jonevret said with a goofy smile across his face. “But then again, I thought about it and I believe it should be a very interesting experience. Both teams are going to play with more or less the same type of players, maybe with a different type formation this time around, but still, it should be interesting. “With regards to the new signings,” Jonevret added. “I’ve only had a few days to work with them so it’s difficult to give a proper assessment on each. I have seen Wayne though and I believe he’s pretty much a decent goalkeeper. I haven’t seen much of our new striker Chris. I’ve seen Sangweni when he was with his former side and I liked what he did. I believe these are the players the club can have a whole lot of use from, going into the new season.”