aCE ready to shine

PARTNERS: PSL chief executive Kjetl Siem with new general manager Andile 'Ace' Ncobo. 20/07/08. © Sowetan.
PARTNERS: PSL chief executive Kjetl Siem with new general manager Andile 'Ace' Ncobo. 20/07/08. © Sowetan.

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

While he may not admit to punting himself, new Premier Soccer League general manager Andile "Ace" Ncobo says the decision by the league to appoint him to this position was the best one.

Ncobo steps into Andrew Dipela's former position after serving the game as an award-winning referee for years and has immediately responded to speculation that he may not deserve this job by pointing out that he was more than a school principal and whistle blower.

The PSL general manager outlined what his duties are going to be, and why he believes he is up to the challenge.

"What many of those questioning my appointment are not aware of is that I have served on the board of directors of several companies, and I feel I am 100 percent capable of doing this job," said Ncobo.

Among his first contributions is likely to be the introduction of an on-field electronic communication device for referees.

Ncobo also plans to bring in overseas experts to help train referees - as reported by a Sunday newspaper.

He believes he is not overstepping his mark and interfering in South African Football Association business.

The device - a headset that connects the referee to his two assistants and the match commissioner - will hopefully raise the standard of refereeing in the country, and may be introduced at the beginning of the season, he said.

"I'd like to state this clearly - the management of referees is a Safa domain and the PSL has no intention of interfering with it.

"What our role is, is to enhance the governing body, as and when Safa needs assistance we will provide it.

"I do know, however, that not too many people understand what happens in the life of a referee and in that regard, my contribution will be appreciated," he said.

In addition to overseeing the overall fixture management of both the PSL and the First Division League, Ncobo revealed that he will also be working towards a database where the public and other football stakeholders will be able to access yellow and red card statistics within a few minutes of a match ending.

League chief executive Kjetl Siem said he had no doubt Ncobo was the deserved candidate, as he proved himself during the interview process.

"The executive committee has endorsed the appointment 100 percent and Ace will start one of the most crucial positions in the PSL with the full backing of the PSL office and the executive committee," added Siem.