Marques back in Birds nest

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Former Moroka Swallows coach Zeca "Lollipop" Marques has rejoined the Birds' technical team, but this time as an assistant to the head coach, Brazilian Julio Cesar Leal.

Marques has signed a two-year contract with and management is optimistic that his presence will help to fly the Birds to new heights this season.

Marques took over the reins at Swallows during the 1998-1999 soccer season when then coach Walter da Silva left.

By then the team was at the bottom of the log, but Marques helped them to evade relegation.

He coached the side until the end of the 1999-2000 season when he was forced to resign after he was attacked by a group of supporters.

Club chairman David "Pine" Chabeli persuaded him to stay, but in vain.

He joined Wits University as an assistant to Roger De Sa, but he did not stay long with the Students as he was appointed head coach of leading amateur side Bedfordview FC.

The Birds' general manager, Sipho Xulu, said they were delighted at Marques return to the club because he knew the culture of Swallows.

"He's a guy who understands our style of play. He knows what it is like to be in the hot seat of one of the biggest teams in the Premiership like Swallows," Xulu said.

"We hope that his presence will add value to the club. We believe he will assist the Birds to be among the best sides in the elite league."

Marques's move to Swallows has not come as a surprise, as he had earlier divulged to Sowetanthat Swallows were keen on his services.

He was unavailable for comment by late yesterday.