Royal Eagles appoint former Bafana Bafana midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi as caretaker coach

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Dikgacoi retired from professional football at the end of last season, and he decided to remain heavily involved in the game as a coach

Former Bafana Bafana and Fulham midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi has been appointed as caretaker coach at National First Division side Royal Eagles. 

Dikgacoi takes over from Roger Sikhakhane whom the club put on sick leave five games into the 2018/19 season.  

The 33-year-old has already had a feel of barking instructions from the bench when Royal Eagles beat Uthongathi FC 1-0 at the Chartsworth Stadium last weekend. 

Royal Eagles are currently placed 11th on the NFD log with eight points from six league matches, and Dikgacoi's main task will be to try and improve the team's log position before Sikhakhane returns to the technical team bench.  

Dikgacoi, who played for Golden Arrows before moving to Europe to join English Premier League side Fulham in 2009, could remain in charge of the KwaZulu Natal for as long as Sikhakhane is recovering from an undisclosed illness. 

After officially retiring from professional football at the end of last season, Dikgacoi joined Royal Eagles as Sikhakhane's assistant in July this year. 

He will hope to gain as much experience as possible in the absence of Sikhakhane as this is his first coaching gig. 

The Brandfort-born former Crystal Palace man will hope to emulate his former Bafana teammate Benni McCarthy, who is currently one of the youngest coaches in the PSL.  

McCarthy started off his coaching career in the Belgian Second Division with Sint-Triuiden three seasons ago before returning South Africa to replace Eric Tinkler as head coach of Cape Town City in 2017. 

Should Dikgacoi practice patience and continue to learn as much as possible, chances are that he will soon be back in the PSL as a coach rather a player. 

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However, at 33, Dikgacoi has a lot of years ahead of himself to equip himself with knowledge before thinking of coaching one of the PSL teams in the near future. 

Apart from Dikgacoi and McCarthy, several former Bafana Bafana players such as Shaun Bartlett and Eric Tinkler among others, have also been involved in the game as coaches.

Another former Bafana Bafana international in Steven Pienaar is still busy with his coaching badges, and the country is waiting in anticipation to see if he will also be coaching in the country once he completes his qualifications. 

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