Sec­ond com­ing

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MATSHELANE MAMABOLO

WHILE so­cial me­dia was abuzz with the ‘news’ of Mi­lutin Sre­do­je­vic, hav­ing made a re­turn to Or­lando Pi­rates, the club was not forth­com­ing with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing their coach­ing sit­u­a­tion.

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from chair­man Irvin Khoza proved fu­tile yes­ter­day as he was busy in meet­ings with the fam­i­lies of the two fans who died at the week­end’s Soweto derby match against Kaizer Chiefs.

Me­dia lia­son, Thandi Mer­afe, also did not an­swer her phone or re­spond to a text sent to her.

Spec­u­la­tion has been rife that the Ser­bian, who was in charge of the Buc­ca­neers back in 2006, was set to re­place Swede Kjell Jonevret, and late yes­ter­day Twit­ter was abuzz with ‘news’ of the for­mer Uganda na­tional team coach sign­ing a five-yeardeal at Pi­rates.

His­tor­i­cally, though, Pi­rates hardly ever give coaches such long con­tracts – the most they usu­ally give be­ing up to three years.

That is the con­tract cur­rent in­cum­bent Jonevret is on and should he be re­placed a mere six months into the job, it is likely to come at a cost for the club, who might have to pay him out for the re­main­ing two and a half years.

Jonevret joined the club mid­way through last sea­son, tak­ing over from care­taker Au­gusto Pala­cios, who had been called in to help af­ter Muhsin Er­tu­gral’s shock res­ig­na­tion dur­ing a post­match TV in­ter­view af­ter a 6-1 ham­mer­ing by Su­perS­port United.

Called in to steady the ship, Jonevret looked to have done a pretty de­cent job by tak­ing the Buc­ca­neers to the Ned­bank Cup fi­nal against the self same Su­perS­port who ham­mered them 4-1.

Yet, it is be­lieved, that while he is a good coach, Jonevret just does not have the man-man­age­ment skills to take charge of a dress­ing room teem­ing with prima don­nas who have long been at the club.

An in­sider spoke of how Jonevret’s team talk at the fi­nal hardly in­spired con­fi­dence, the Swede ap­par­ently speak­ing to the play­ers as though they were about to play a nor­mal league match.

“It was a big match for the club, given that it gave us a chance to win some­thing in the sea­son to make up for a poor cam­paign.

“But he just sim­ply said: ‘You know what to do, go out there and do it’.”

And Pi­rates went and did ex­actly what they’d been do­ing all sea­son, tack­ling the match with an ap­par­ent dis­dain that has had some sug­gest­ing the en­tire squad needs an over­haul.

Such is the na­ture of foot­ball though that over­hauls are but a dream with clubs al­ways mak­ing coaches the fall guy.

Whether Sre­de­jovic, who had a pretty de­cent time in charge of Uganda – he led them to win­ning the Caf Na­tional Team of the Year award – will be able to turn Pi­rates around, re­mains to be seen.

The ‘news’ of his re­turn was met with mixed emo­tions, with those pro-Mi­cho re­fer­ring to the fact he lead the club to the Cham­pi­ons League semi-fi­nals as proof of his abil­i­ties, while the oth­ers pointed out that he won noth­ing in his first spell with Pi­rates.

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