Orlando Pirates coach Zinnbauer breaks silence on Ncikazi appointment


Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer has welcomed the addition of Mandla Ncikazi and Sjoerd Woudenberg to the club's technical team.

Ncikazi joined the Buccaneers last month following a successful 2020/21 season with Lamontville Golden Arrows as the head coach as he guided the team to a fourth spot finish in the PSL.

The 52-year-old tactician's arrival at Bucs added fuel to speculation that the Soweto giants are considering replacing Zinnbauer with Steve Komphela, but the rumours have since cooled off.

Woudenberg was snapped up by Pirates from Cape Town City and the 34-year-old Dutchman has filled the vacant goalkeeper coach position at the Houghton-based giants.

Zinnbauer lauded Ncikazi as a good coach when speaking from Pirates' pre-season camp in Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg, North West. 

“In coach Mandla, we have a good coach who has experience as an assistant coach and as a head coach, he knows both sides," Zinnbauer told the media.

"What we expected since last season was a goalkeeper coach. We haven’t had a goalkeeper coach in a long time, last season we lost an analyst and an individual coach during the season."

Woudenberg's arrival at Pirates has thrown Wayne Sandilands' future at the club in doubt as he has stepped down from his part-time role as goalkeeper coach while his contract as a player also expired.

Zinnbauer, who joined the Buccaneers in December 2019, indicated that his wishes have finally been answered as he has long asked for a second assistant. 

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“My first question at the club was, please give me another assistant coach, this was in my first few months and now we have one and we have more staff members and more eyes on the field," he added. 

"We can manage training easier and the games as well. We can manage the players who are left behind easier when we travel to Africa. We have quality staff behind me and that’s very important in football."

Pirates are set to take on Kaizer Chiefs in the Carling Black Label Cup match at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.