Ian again a pirate
"Once a Pirate, always a Pirate", so goes the popular slogan of South African soccer giants Orlando Pirates.
That best describes the return of their former deadly striker Ian Palmer, who has been appointed an assistant to head coach Rudi Krol.
Palmer, one of the country's rising soccer coaches, joined Pirates at the weekend from Premiership side Maritzburg United.
This was after Palmer guided United back into the Premiership but left two weeks ago when the two parties could not agree on financial terms.
"It is awesome for me to be back at Orlando Pirates. I'm here to learn and educate myself," said a visibly ecstatic Palmer yesterday.
"It is important to lay a solid foundation. That is why I'm going back to the basics and empower myself to learn more about coaching.
"It will be a good learning experience for me to work under Rudi. I want to thank Dr Khoza [Irvin, Pirates' chairman] for allowing me to come here on an educational experience.
"What brought me here is that Pirates have pledged to invest in me," said Palmer, who besides playing for Pirates, has also served them as a coach.
Palmer worked as a joint assistant coach with Harris "TV 4" Choeu when Frenchman Jean-Yves Kerjean was with the club.
He also worked as a development coach at the club, which is now planning to bounce back to their winning ways after failing to grab silverware last season. Palmer has also coached First Division side FC AK.
Khoza said they were delighted to welcome back one of their best players in Palmer, who used to consistently bang in goals for them.
"He still remains one of our best strikers ever. We are still struggling to produce a striker that will match the scoring prowess of Ian.
"Ian and Brendon Silent were some of our most dedicated players. We went for him because we wanted a person who understands the players and football.
"Obviously, the head coach has the final say, but it was important for us to get somebody who will also share ideas with him.
"It is rare for a good soccer player to become a good coach. This is the biggest challenge we are facing in South Africa.
"The coach has been requesting us to get an assistant for him. We have also employed a goalkeeper trainer as per the coach's request.
"William Okpara has been employed to perform that role," added Khoza, who is doing his utmost best to assemble an all-conquering side.