Da gama quits

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The one-year-old marriage between Orlando Pirates and coach Owen da Gama has ended with the coach requesting to be released.

At a meeting with chairman Irvin Khoza, Da Gama presented Khoza with a request to be released from two years of his three-year deal with the club.

There was uncertainty regarding Da Gama's future after Pirates' indifferent results, which almost resulted in the club failing to finish in the top eight bracket.

"I thought it wise to leave Orlando Pirates at this stage. In football, there is an element of luck - the right place at the right time. That did not work in my favour," said Da Gama.

"I do not want to leave Orlando Pirates in a manner which will make it impossible for me to return under different circumstances. I wish the club well going forward.

" It has never been easy to serve at Orlando Pirates Football Club. It is a sure definition of labour of love. There is always pressure from the chairman, the coach, team manager, players, right down to the receptionist.

"Orlando Pirates supporters measure their wellbeing through, amongst other things, the performance of the team."

Khoza said: "I accepted Owen's request because I want this to be an experience that grows him rather than distract him. I wish Owen well. I am convinced his talent won't be lost to South African football."

Regarding a replacement, Khoza said: "All that I can tell you is that we will have a new coach before going for pre-season training on June 25."