His Bucs fu­ture

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MOHAU RAMASHIDJA

KJELL JONEVRET doesn’t know whether he’ll still be Or­lando Pi­rates’ head coach when the new sea­son starts in a few weeks time.

With spec­u­la­tion rife that for­mer Buc­ca­neers coach Mi­lutin ‘Mi­cho’ Sre­do­je­vic, who quit his poast in charge of the Uganda na­tional team on Fri­day coach, will be ap­pointed as his re­place­ment for the new cam­paign, Jonevre has been left to won­der won­der­ing whether he’s stay­ing or go­ing.

Should he be shown the door though, the Swede, who joined the Sea Rob­bers in the mid­dle of last sea­son with an as­sign­ment to steady Pi­rates’ sink­ing ship, said he wouldn’t take the sack­ing per­sonal. Af­ter all, he rea­soned, ít is one of those things which comes with the job of be­ing a foot­ball coach’.

“When I first ar­rived here,” Jonevret said. “My mis­sion was to first try and save our sea­son as soon as we could. We were able to get the points we needed to get our­selves away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone, while also mak­ing sure that worked a bit harder to reach the (Ned­bank Cup) fi­nal.

“For this sea­son,” Jonevret added. “Me and my tech­ni­cal team sat down and spoke about what we thought we should do to try and make this team a top side again. I be­lieve ev­ery­body wants to see Pi­rates be­ing up there again. Even (Kaizer)Chiefs, I be­lieve, wants us up there along­side them as well. And that has been our fo­cus this time around.

“But at the same time, I’ve worked in this busi­ness long enough, and I know how things work. Some­times, they (clubs) have pa­tience and some­times, they do not.”

In the past five months, which in­cludes the cur­rent pre-sea­son, he has been at the club, the 55-year-old has man­aged to bring in some form of sta­bil­ity to the club.

At a club as big as Pi­rates though, it is ei­ther suc­cess or bust and the club’s fail­ure to fin­ish in the top eight bracket for the first time since the ad­vent of the Pre­mier Soc­cer League (PSL) in 1996 as well as their go­ing tro­phy­less hav­ing suf­fered a 4-1 ham­mer­ing by Su­perS­port United in the Ned­bank Cup fi­nal will be rea­son enough for the man­age­ment to pull the trig­ger on Jonevret.

That th­ese fail­ure hap­pened on the oc­ca­sion of their 80th an­niver­sary year which they no doubt hoped to cel­e­brate in style adds to the pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion Jonevret is in.

As if that was not bad enough, Pi­rates went and lost 1-0 to Chiefs in the pre-sea­son Car­ling Black La­bel Cham­pion Cup at the week­end.

Suc­cess there would no doubt have bought Jonevret some lee­way, the com­pe­ti­tion’s friendly na­ture not­with­stand­ing. A win in a Soweto derby is al­ways worth its weight in gold.

But with Pi­rates huff­ing and puff­ing about at the FNB Sta­dium on Sat­ur­day, the clam­our for Mi­cho’s re­turn is sure to grow even louder.

Though his fu­ture hangs in the bal­ance, Jonevret re­mains com­mit­ted to the club.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult to com­ment about the mat­ter,” Jonevret said of the pos­si­bil­ity of him be­ing sacked.

“I’ll con­tinue be­ing pro­fes­sional and get the team to work very hard every sin­gle day. If we con­tinue giv­ing it our all, then I be­lieve a few pieces will be­gin to fall into place. And we will cer­tainly have a far much bet­ter sea­son in the new cam­paign. If the club has found a great coach some­where, then that de­ci­sion is not up to me. I’m pretty cool about ev­ery­thing else and will con­tinue giv­ing it my very best.”

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