Former Orlando Pirates co-head coach Mandla Ncikazi said he had offers to leave the club but choose to stay on as Jose Riveiro’s assistant.

Ncikazi was lured to Pirates after a record-breaking season at Golden Arrows and assumed the role as head coach alongside Fadlu Davids after the sudden departure of Josef Zinnbauer.

In a season that promised much, it ended without silverware as they lost in the final of the CAF Confederation Cup and finished in sixth place, outside the CAF Inter-club qualification spots which was made known as a mandatory target.

Pirates went on to part ways with Davids – who worked alongside Milutin Sredojevic, Rulani Mokwena and Zinnbauer – upon the expiry of his contract and roped in the Spaniard Riveiro with Nickazi being retained as a local assistant alongside Sergio Almenara.

But he holds no bad blood about the decision and stated he’s happy to remain at the Soweto giants, who are aiming to take the club to greater heights once more in their 85th anniversary.

“By nature, I’m an optimist, I’m not a pessimist, I look at the positive side of things and this is not about me, it’s about the club, if you look at football in the view that it’s about you, you will have challenges,” Ncikazi said.

“If the club sees they need to grow into another level, we put the badge first, to move to get to another level, I’m not a person who puts myself first.

I put everything else [first], especially if the club, if the club felt at the time you are brought in as an assistant – the coach left, co-coaching, if the results didn’t get to the level where the club wanted it, we didn’t achieve the required the results, they must make a change.

“Honestly I think it would be unfair for me to try and change [these] situations, I accept what’s there and adversity is the breakfast of champions, the biggest learnings happen in such situations, there’s so much to learn – I put my contribution where I can and as long as the club does well, that’s why I’m here.”

He continued: “When the developments took place, the club took me on board, I was aware. I had options, I did not stay at the club because there were no options outside. But I made a choice to stay at the club.

“I think the bigger picture, as I said, is the club doing well and I’ll still be part of the club and see the club doing better.

I don’t think it’s the end of what has transpired, I’m here because I chose to be here. The club made me aware of the developments and I’m part of the process, as long as they do well I’m good to be part of the team.”

Pirates will be aiming to get back to winning ways after their DStv Premiership defeat at the hands of Chippa United when they face SuperSport United on Sunday afternoon at the Lucas Moripe Stadium at 17h00.

Categories: Sport


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