Cape Town-born former South African footballer Leroy Maluka has shared some advice to former colleague Jose Riveiro following his appointment as Orlando Pirates coach.
The Buccaneers pulled off a surprise last weekend when they confirmed Riveiro as their new coach, hiring a tactician with no history of winning trophies.
South Africans have been divided on social media with different views about Riveiro, who has previously worked with Maluka at Finnish side FC Inter Turku for two years.
The Spaniard arrived with assistant coach Sergio Almenara and fitness trainer Miguel Bellver Esteve, whom he also worked with at FC Inter Turku.
“There is not a lot of advice I can give him but what’s important is for him to shut out all the nonsense and speculation on social media – people talk,” Maluka told SABC Sport.
“But I know that he is a very professional coach and it is a massive boost that he has two [familiar] people on his staff.
“I worked with both of them at FC Inter and obviously, as a fitness coach, I grew a lot closer to the fitness trainer [Esteve] and we have been talking. I knew all along that they were coming to South Africa – I think this is a great appointment.”
Mandla Ncikazi is another assistant coach of Riveiro whose backroom staff also saw the arrival of former Bidvest Wits shot-stopper Tyron Damons as goalkeeper coach.
Former Ikapa Sporting midfielder Maluka believes Riveiro will make an immense contribution to South African football despite doubts around him.
“He’s a very good coach. I think he is someone who is going to bring a lot to South African football, but as to what style he prefers I will leave that to him to talk about,” added Maluka.
“But I enjoyed working with him in Finland and I know the two guys he is bringing with on his staff very well.”
The biggest task Riveiro faces would be to break Mamelodi Sundowns’ dominance of domestic football and help Pirates win their first Premier Soccer League title since the 2011/12 season.