Santos challenge for new coach Nooij
SANTOS officially unveiled Dutch national Mart Nooij as their new coach yesterday as the club desperately tries to stave off relegation this season.
The former Mozambique national coach has been drafted in with five matches remaining of the campaign, but has signed a contract until June 2014 and insists that he will be in charge of the team next season, whatever division the club finds itself in.
Nooij was approached by Santos in January but turned down their advances, citing a need to attend to family matters back in Holland, where his daughter was due to give birth. However, he has now been persuaded to take up the post and having initially arrived in an advisory role last week, has quickly been elevated to the role of head coach, with Duncan Crowie moving back into the assistant role he performed under Boebie Solomons in the first half of the season.
"Obviously the position that the club is in now is not easy, but I see it as a challenge," Nooij says. "If I was scared about taking on this job at this critical time of the season then I would not be sitting here.
"We are in a very difficult position and there is no time for me to make big changes to the way we play now. I will try and change small things that I hope will make a difference. We have five cup finals left this season, starting with Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday."
Nooij already has his work permit and will be on the bench for the Amakhosi match at the Athlone Stadium.
The 57-year-old was a school physical education teacher before he became a development trainer with the Royal Dutch Football Association.
He has also worked in the US, Kazakhstan and most notably with the Mozambique national team.
Nooij led Mozambique to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals after an absence of 12 years.