Leopards offer Tso reprieve
BLACK Leopards have thrown Benedict "Tso" Vilakazi a lifeline as former coach Vladislav Heric returns to the enclosure for the umpteenth time. Vilakazi, who has been twiddling his thumbs since he was off-loaded by Mamelodi Sundowns in January, has been signed until the end of the season.
Heric has taken over the coaching job from Sunday Chidzamba after the Serb agreed a two-season renewable contract with the Absa Premiership comeback kids.
Chidzamba has been redeployed at the club. Club boss David Thidiela confirmed the developments at his club yesterday. He said he decided to rope in Heric after Chidzamba decided to step down as head coach.
"Sunday approached me on Sunday to inform me about his decision to quit and I flatly refused to let him go," Thidiela explained.
"Sunday is a very good man and is respected by all the players in the team. I can't forget what he did for us last season. The man did wonders and I can't just let him go now that we are in the Premiership. He remains part of the club and I'm happy he decided to stay."
Thidiela added that he could not have asked for more ideal replacement for Chidzamba than Heric.
"Heric did fairly well while he was here and I believe he will do well again for us."
Vilakazi said he was looking forward to helping his new club to turn the corner.
"I want to thank Leopards' management for giving me a chance to continue to play football and I want to work hard for the success of this team," said the former Bafana midfielder. "They are a good team with good players and I believe together we can take this club to the next level."
Heric said he was happy to be back. "It is my fourth stint with Leopards and I'm excited about the job. This team has the potential to avoid relegation," he said.
Chidzamba said their shaky start to the season influenced his decision to step down.
"I told the chairman about my decision and I wanted to return home but he asked me to stay. He promised to give me a new role in the team. I have a cordial relationship with Thidiela so I decided to stay," he said.
Leopards are on the relegation trap door with fellow returnees Jomo Cosmos.