Orlando Pirates assistant coach Ncikazi admits he was skeptical about Riveiro being his boss

Jose Riveiro, Orlando PiratesBackpage
  • Riveiro was appointed Pirates coach last June
  • He arrived in SA as an unknown coach
  • Ncikazi reveals he had doubts about Riveiro

WHAT HAPPENED? Riveiro was named as Bucs head coach last June in what was a surprise decision by the club. His name was not known in South Africa and his CV had no track record of winning trophies.

But the Spaniard won the MTN8 and the Nedbank Cup in his first job in Africa to silence his doubters who mocked him as a “plumber.”

The appointment of Riveiro saw Ncikazi being demoted to the role of assistant coach after spending the previous season as Pirates co-coach with Fadlu Davids. Ncikazi concedes he has doubts about Riveiro’s appointment.

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WHAT NCIKAZI SAID: “To be honest with you, I was a bit confused because you don’t know these guys [Riveiro and his assistant Sergio Almenara), you don’t know what they have and what kind of people they are,” said Ncikazi as per iDiksi Times.

“It is like that when you combine two people from different countries, especially from Europe, plenty of time you don’t see things the same way based on different cultures, regions and the way we see things.

“But luckily, I won’t lie, these guys are professional and they know their work. But in a new relationship, you need to get to know each other, it was never a beautiful marriage from the onset, signs were there that we didn’t work together.

“But it is important from my side when people arrive, I shouldn’t judge, but accept them, listen if you are not happy but see what their intentions are, also those from the club, that this is what they want.

“You can see the club has good intentions. If we don’t achieve results, they will make changes and you have to accept it. This is not about me, not about someone else, but about the fans all over Africa.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: In his first season as Pirates coach, Riveiro guided the Soweto giants back to the Caf Champions League on top of the two trophies they won. It was a season he ended up as a contender for the Coach of the Season award.

After an impressive season on the domestic front, Riveiro is now facing bigger challenges in Africa. It is to be seen if he will perform better in the Champions League where Mamelodi Sundowns have struggled to win the title in recent years.

WHAT NEXT FOR RIVEIRO? The Spaniard will now go for the off-season break knowing that more is expected from him after setting a trail of success.

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