Experienced mentor Owen Da Gama began his tenure as head coach of Motsepe Foundation Championship side Black Leopards on Thursday.

Da Gama has been tasked with helping Leopards survive the chop this season.

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Leopards are in trouble of relegation as they currently languish at the bottom of the second-tier league after 17 games played.

The 61-year-old takes over from Johnny Ferreira, who returned to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila recently.

Zimbabwean mentor Rodwell Dhlakama, who was the senior coach has also left the club.

Da Gama will be assisted by long serving and former club captain Morgan Shivambu. His first task will be a Limpopo derby against rivals Polokwane City on Sunday, 19 February in Malamulele.

“It is going to be very tough because no one wants to be relegated,” Da Gama told FARPost on Thursday.

“You can see TTM have now gone to Bloemfontein and they have strengthened their team. So it’s not going to be easy.

“But I just believe that Black Leopards  are a very big team. One of the biggest teams in South Africa, there is no doubt about it.

“With the squad that we have it’s good to be optimistic but it’s also more important to be realistic, it’s going to be really hard. But I think we have the quality to move out of the relegation zone. There is no doubt about it,” added Da Gama.

Meanwhile, the club has also roped in former SAFA NEC member and Vhembe secretary Eric Muneri as the clubs new General Manager.

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Muneri has a huge experience in football administration in the Limpopo Province. Him and Da Gama are not strangers, they worked together for many years at now defunct Dynamos.

Muneri also started his stint at Leopards strong during the Thursday training session held at the Malamulele stadium.


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