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Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Former Orlando Pirates, Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns coach Viktor "Mind Your Language" Bondarenko just loves South African football.

"Bondas", as he is widely known in soccer circles, says he is overwhelmed by the flair and skill of South African players.

Speaking from his home in Moscow, Russia, yesterday, Bondarenko said he always kept in touch with local football by watching South African players who are based in Russia, MacBeth Sibaya, who plays for FC Rubin Kazan, and Matthew Booth who does duty for Krylia Sovetov.

Both teams campaign in that country's Premier League.

"I hardly miss their matches because just watching them in action reminds me of my coaching spell in your country," Bondarenko said.

"Though the approach of the game in Europe differs with that in South Africa, players such as Sibaya still maintain the African flair."

Bondarenko, who still harbours hopes of coaching in the Premier Soccer League again, said he was also prepared to coach in the National First Division (NFD).

Asked which particular team he would like to coach in South Africa, the Russian mentor, who also coached the Mozambican national squad, said he was ready to join any club that would give him a good offer.

"It can be a team from the elite league or from the NFD as long I would be happy with what they will be offering me. South Africa is like home away from home," said.

Bondarenko has been in South Africa for more than 20 years, coaching.

He left for Russia three weeks ago after failing to secure a coaching job for six months. He plans to return in the off-season to continue with his search.