Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo has become the latest club legend to add his voice on the appointment of Jose Riveiro as the Soweto giants’ head coach.
Mhlongo believes Mandla Ncikazi should have been given the Pirates job on a permanent basis rather than appointing Riveiro, who was confirmed as the Buccaneers coach last Saturday.
After spending last season as interim co-coach with Fadlu Davids, Ncikazi will now work as Riveiro’s assistant coach together with Sergio Almenara ,who used to work with the Spaniard at Finnish side FC Inter Turku.
“For me, I would say give a local coach a chance but at the same time there was not enough faith in the local coaches due to the performances that they gave towards the end of the season,” Mhlongo told Sowetan Live.
Mhlongo mentions helping Pirates reaching the Caf Confederation Cup final and his past performances at Golden Arrows as strong grounds to give Ncikazi the job.
“Let’s wait and see in the MTN8 how he [Riveiro] performs and we would have an idea of what’s happening but I would have loved to see a local coach like Mandla Ncikazi continue and be given a platform to showcase his capabilities because he has done well with Golden Arrows,” added Mhlongo.
“Even at Pirates he did fairly well. He took the team to the Confederation Cup final.”
Pirates have seen limited success with coaches from overseas since winning the 2011/12 Premier Soccer League title.
Coaches like Augusto Palacios, Vladimir Vermezovic, Muhsin Ertugral, Kjell Jonevret, Milutin Sredojevic and Josef Zinnbauer have all come and gone with little success.
Pirates have now hired Riveiro, who has never won any trophies in his coaching career and has spent much of his time working in Finland.
He arrives in his first job in Africa at a time when celebrated South African coaches like Gavin Hunt, Benni McCarthy, Roger de Sa and Pitso Mosimane are jobless.