Out with the new and in with the old at Pi­rates

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

Sre­do­je­vic’s own short stint that lasted less than a year back in 2006. Only Ruud Krol, who guided the Soweto giants to a do­mes­tic tre­ble in the 2010/11 sea­son, lasted three years.

The high turnover of coaches high­lights how tough this job is, test­ing not only the in­cum­bent’s tac­ti­cal acu­men but also their men­tal re­solve. “I have been on an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney, a foot­ball study, in the last 10 and a half years since I


The un­her­alded Fer­reira was a sur­prise selection three years ago, but he has fully jus­ti­fied the faith shown in him by his coach … he’s a grafter of the high­est order and does the ba­sics bril­liantly. Then there’s Mostert, the king of line-out steals, the never-stop-work­ing en­er­giser bunny who puts in more tack­les than locks are sup­posed to. Fac­ing them are Bar­rett – yes, an­other Bar­rett whose brothers Jordie and Beau­den were in the Hur­ri­canes team last week – and White­lock, the cap­tain and un­doubt­edly one of the lead­ing No 5s in the game, a master in the line-outs. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing match-up. left Pi­rates,” Sre­do­je­vic said.

“I be­lieve I gained enough ex­pe­ri­ence to help me reach the club’s am­bi­tions and my own per­sonal am­bi­tions which are huge.

“There is a huge chal­lenge in front of me. But I want to in­form you that I am one of a few peo­ple who uses fuel called pres­sure.

“I live for pres­sure. I have been un­der pres­sure since I was born.

“I come from Yu­goslavia (now in the part called Ser­bia) where we have seen and felt every­thing.”

Sre­do­je­vic con­tin­ued, “We don’t feel pres­sure.

“I feel ex­tremely re­spon­si­ble to­wards the chair­man (Irvin Khoza), the club and the sup­port­ers. “But I don’t feel pres­sure. “I can’t guar­an­tee any­thing or make ma­jor prom­ises. I can only promise to give sweat, blood and tears. To give my all.

“Then we will see how foot­ball will pay us back. Judg­ing how foot­ball has paid me back since I left South Africa, I am con­fi­dent that the same for­mula will pay me back here.”

Sre­do­je­vic has achieved a lot on the con­ti­nent since leav­ing Pi­rates af­ter tak­ing them to the semi-fi­nals of the 2006 CAF Cham­pi­ons League.

“Micho” won four league ti­tles, took Uganda to their first Africa Cup of Na­tions ap­pear­ance in 39 years, re­ceived four Coach-of-theYear ac­co­lades and took Al-Hi­lal of Su­dan to the semi­fi­nals of the 2011 Cham­pi­ons League.

It’s this pedi­gree on the con­ti­nent that made Khoza bring the Ser­bian back to steer the Sea Rob­bers’ ship that has hit rock bottom.

“I have made my name a brand name on the con­ti­nent,” Sre­do­je­vic said. “If you don’t know what this means, then I in­vite you to come with me to any of the coun­tries where I have coached to see what I mean to the peo­ple.”

Sre­do­je­vic means a lot to Khoza. The Pi­rates chair­man re­vealed that the Ser­bian is the man he wanted to hire ear­lier this year to take over from Au­gusto Pala­cios, who served in the in­terim from Novem­ber to Fe­bru­ary af­ter Muhsin Er­tu­gral’s sud­den de­par­ture. But Khoza was put­off by the buy-out clause the Fed­er­a­tion of Uganda Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Fufa) placed on Sre­do­je­vic be­fore he re­signed on Saturday.

Sre­do­je­vic will now sit down with Khoza to pick his tech­ni­cal team and then name a new cap­tain as Oupa Many­isa will join Mamelodi Sun­downs in a swap deal.

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