Exclusive: Ruud Krol Honest About South Africa And Orlando Pirates

The former Dutch international and current Orlando Pirates coach spoke to Goal.com about his time in South Africa and his PSL side’s prospects this season…
Pirates fans have been impressed with the Dutch coach since his arrival at the club in 2008, and they are hoping that this year will be a successful one for their heroes, with Krol at the helm. Last season his side were unlucky not to take the title, losing out on the last day to SuperSport United on goal difference.

Krol had an impressive CV as a player, playing for the Netherlands at the highest level, while captaining one of the best Ajax teams to wear the famous white and red strip. As a coach, his achievements are of a high standard as well, coaching the Egyptian national team, while being assistant manager of the Netherlands under Louis van Gaal, and Ajax under Ronald Koeman.

He has a wealth of African experience too, coaching Egyptian club Zamalek on two separate occasions before joining the Buccaneers in South Africa on a four-year deal. Goal.com spoke to this interesting man and wise coach, and this is what he had to say…

Goal: Were you impressed with South Africa during the Confederations Cup?

Krol: I cannot give my honest opinion because I only saw it on tv… there are other aspects of football that happen behind the scenes which I was not part of… but honestly I cannot give a honest opinion on that one.

Goal: What kind of World Cup will 2010 be, on and off the pitch?

Krol: I think it will be a fantastic World Cup… the stadiums are good, and I think all the preparations are going well… I expect a brilliant World Cup… off the field… we will have to wait and see…

Goal: How will the World Cup benefit SA football? Krol: This is something that only the future can tell… I cannot predict. But from experience, I know that the World Cup benefits a lot the country that is hosting it.

Goal: What about the vuvuzelas?

Krol: I think it is fantastic for South Africa… it gives the players more motivation on the field, and the fans get more enthusiasm in the game here, I have no problem with that… of course it is a different way of celebrating at the stadiums, but I have no problem with it.

Goal: Which of your new signings during the transfer window will give you the edge over the other PSL clubs?

Krol: We have brought in players that we think can do the job for us… We will have to wait and see how they respond during the games; which is of course something different… only the future will tell which one of them will stand out at the club.

Goal: Which club side will be your main competition in the league this season? Krol: I think this competition will be the same; but of course SuperSport United are the current champions and I think they are our main competitors at the moment. They won the championship twice, and they are the obvious competitors for us.

Goal: Were you surprised at Egypt’s showing in the Confed Cup? Has football developed since you were there.

Krol: Well, I was not surprised at the way they performed in the Confederations Cup… they have a good side. Sometimes they celebrate too much and forget to get the basics right, which cost them against Brazil… against Italy they did well, but they did not play so good against the United States… but of course their football has evolved a bit.

John Duerden and Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com