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