Igesund on verge of greatness
THERE might only be an outside chance, but if Gordon Igesund is to lead Moroka Swallows to the Premier Soccer League title this month, he will have a just claim to being the best coach in league history.
It would be the 55-year-old's fifth championship, which would set a new individual record for a coach in South African professional soccer history.
Second-placed Swallows would need to come from behind in the standings and overhaul Orlando Pirates in a dramatic end to the season. It would be a miraculous recovery for a side that just 18 months ago looked headed down to the National First Division after a disastrous start to the 2010-2011 season.
Igesund was brought in halfway through the season and has engineered a remarkable turnaround, not only saving the Birds' top-flight status but turning them from relegation candidates into championship contenders.
Already he is a record- holder of four titles along with Jeff Butler and Ted Dumitru. Butler and Dumitru achieved their success with two clubs each but Durban-born Igesund has four titles with four different outfits.
This already would make him the best in most people's books, given his ability to win with not only the major, big-spending and top supported clubs but also with unfashionable outfits like Manning Rangers and Santos.
Butler took his four titles in five seasons while Dumitru had already been in South African football for more than a decade before he won his first title in 1998.
Besides Igesund, the only other active coach with previous league success is Gavin Hunt, who also has an outside chance of a fourth title this season with SuperSport if the results on Saturday go his way.
Hunt's three back-to-back titles from 2008 to 2010 matched the only previous hat trick, achieved by Butler from 1991 to 1993.