Ex-Platinum Stars coach signs deal until 2010

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Orlando Pirates yesterday appointed Owen "Rubberdoll" da Gama as head coach, ending speculation that had been rife this week.

The former Platinum Stars coach signed a contract that will see him remain at the team until 2010.

The appointment was effective immediately and Da Gama was to meet players yesterday with the aim of resuming training this morning.

Pirates' chairman Irvin "The Duke" Khoza said Da Gama would have full control of the team and nobody would interfere with his duties.

"Orlando Pirates' board of directors did not think twice when they offered Da Gama services," said Khoza. "We were honoured to receive applications from some well known coaches around the world. But with the challenges facing us we thought we must get someone who understands the environment where we are. When he made his services available we were excited.

"We're going to give him all the support he needs and he'll not be under any pressure. We're going to take time. He is a home-grown coach and he knows the players in the league, hence we gave him a free role to look for players himself," said Khoza.

He added that as far as his assistants are concerned, it will be the coach who makes a decision.

Da Gama said it was a challenge and an opportunity to coach Pirates.

"Being appointed Orlando Pirates head coach is the biggest honour ever bestowed on me as a son of the soil."