Pien­aar ready for Pi­rates, or Chiefs or City or ...

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MOHAU RAMASHIDJA

SHOULD Or­lando Pi­rates be keen on ac­quir­ing the ser­vices of Steven Pien­aar lead­ing up to the new sea­son, the vet­eran mid­fielder would be re­cep­tive fol­low­ing his re­turn to South Africa.

And that’s be­cause Schillo, as Pien­aar is af­fec­tion­ately known, grew up sup­port­ing the Black and White from a very young age.

Now, at 35, Pien­aar re­vealed that he was now back in the coun­try for good, fol­low­ing what turned out to be a dis­as­trous final sea­son in English top-flight foot­ball this past cam­paign.

His for­mer side Sun­der­land, a club which he joined on a one-year con­tract as a free agent from Ever­ton, were rel­e­gated at the end of the 2016/17 sea­son.

Pien­aar ad­mit­ted that it had been a bit­ter pill to swal­low as this was the first time he ex­pe­ri­enced the pain of rel­e­ga­tion.

How­ever, the vet­eran mid­fielder hinted that he wasn’t done with the beau­ti­ful game as yet, as he would love to be back on the play­ing field on the do­mes­tic front again.

But the West­bury-born mid­fielder added that the pos­si­bil­i­ties of that hap­pen­ing would de­pend on op­por­tu­ni­ties be­ing of­fered by PSL sides who are in­ter­ested in ac­quir­ing his ser­vices.

“Only God knows where I’m go­ing to play (next),” Pien­aar said at his an­nual Steven Pien­aar Com­mu­nity Cup yes­ter­day in West­bury.

Asked if Pi­rates could be a club to open a door for him, a smil­ing Pien­aar said: “We’ll see”.

Should that move not come to fruition though, Pien­aar is most likely to sign with ei­ther Kaizer Chiefs or Cape Town City, sides who have shown great in­ter­est in ac­quir­ing his sig­na­ture for the new sea­son.

The fact that The Cit­i­zens ap­pointed Benni McCarthy as their new coach for the up­com­ing sea­son might give them an extra ad­van­tage, as both Pien­aar and McCarthy have been very close since long be­fore the for­mer be­came a pro­fes­sional foot­baller.

Pien­aar even reck­ons that McCarthy, who he re­gards as an older brother, will do well in his first coach­ing job on the do­mes­tic front.

“Benni has al­ways wanted to be­come a coach since I’ve known him,” Pien­aar said. “He has al­ways been a great talker and I know that he’s go­ing to do great (in his de­but sea­son in the PSL as head coach).

“He has all the right qual­i­ties ex­pected from any (good) coach. He’s very in­tel­li­gent and has got a great per­son­al­ity as well.

“He’s been like a brother to me for many years now,” Pien­aar added. “He has al­ways given me good ad­vice to act on.”

Mean­while, Pien­aar wished his for­mer coach, David Moyes, all the best of luck in his fu­ture en­deav­ours, adding that he never ex­pected their re­union to re­sult in both of them be­ing rel­e­gated to the English Cham­pi­onship di­vi­sion.

“It’s like ev­ery­thing goes com­pletely dark for about a day and af­ter that, you com­pletely for­get about (the whole ex­pe­ri­ence),” Pien­aar said of his first ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing rel­e­gated from topflight foot­ball.

“We (him and David Moyes) never ex­pected that things would pan out this way (at Sun­der­land). We didn’t know what we were walk­ing into.

“But with foot­ball, you just have to ac­cept your de­feats and we’ve done that. Both of us had never ex­pe­ri­enced a rel­e­ga­tion drop be­fore and we ended up go­ing through that ex­pe­ri­ence to­gether (the pair had worked to­gether at Ever­ton be­fore).

“At the end of the day, Moyes is a very good man­ager whom I have the high­est re­spect for. I can only wish him well go­ing for­ward.”

Scot Moyes, who also be­came Manch­ester United man­ager af­ter Sir Alex Fer­gu­son, has been axed by Sun­der­land.

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