parting shots

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Malawian Kinnah Phiri, the outgoing Free State Stars head coach, is hoping for a memorable farewell in his last two Absa Premiership games with Ea Lla Koto.

The first match is against battered and goal-shy Orlando Pirates at Goble Park in Bethlehem tomorrow, starting at 3pm.

On Sunday in Tshwane, Stars complete their league campaign against Nedbank Cup finalists Mamelodi Sundowns.

Phiri is quitting Stars after Sunday's game to rejoin the Flames of Malawi in their quest to do well in the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

"I have enjoyed myself at Stars, the plan is to leave with everybody happy after getting maximum points against Pirates and Sundowns," said Phiri.

Mike Mokoena, Stars' chairman, said Ghanaian Duncan David will take over as head coach in the new season following the departure of Phiri.

"We had initially agreed with Duncan to be in charge of our development programme, but he will assume the full responsibility of head coach."

Mokoena said the former Ghanaian Under-17 national team coach will be assisted by former Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns player Sammy Troughton.

"Kinnah hinted to us a few months ago that soccer authorities in Malawi approached him to assist them in their quest to do well in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

"In terms of the agreement between Kinnah and the Malawi soccer federation, he is scheduled to start the job on May 19.

"It is sad to lose a great coach of his calibre, he has done wonders for us. As for Duncan, we are convinced that we have uncovered another golden find.

"He reminds me of the late Peter Nyama, who was highly knowledgeable. I had a lengthy talk with Duncan, I was impressed by his vision.

"I have decided that I won't be releasing anybody until Duncan is here on June 1 and gets a chance to assess all the current players."

Tickets for tomorrow's match against Pirates are on sale at the Engen Garage in Bethlehem and Ea Lla Koto sports shop in QwaQwa.

"We won't sell tickets at the stadium on match day, we are going to sell only 6000 tickets," said Rantsi Mokoena, Stars' brand manager.

After the defeat by Kaizer Chiefs in Mmabatho on Saturday, Pirates were back at training yesterday to prepare for the trip to Free State.

Despite still being troubled by a toe injury, Teko Modise is travelling with the team today, according to manager Shakes Mashaba.

But Mlungisi Gumbi and Innocent Mdledle are both suspended.

"Everybody was hard at work today [yesterday].

"Everybody is still shocked that we find ourselves where we are now but they are aware we really need to win," said Mashaba.