Nyirenda readies to lift first SA cup

Wedson Nyirenda, coach of Baroka. / Philip Maeta / Gallo Images
Wedson Nyirenda, coach of Baroka. / Philip Maeta / Gallo Images

The recent period has been an emotional rollercoaster for Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda.

Not too long ago, the Zambian tactician was mourning the loss of his mother. Now a few weeks later, tragedy has turned into triumph as the 52-year-old has steered Baroka to the Telkom Knockout final - their first-ever - after beating Wits 1-0.

"It has not been easy to be honest because my mother was very close to me. Losing her left me with a lot of grief," Nyirenda said.

"But making it to the final like this takes me away from the painful thoughts. We are very pleased and grateful for the accomplishment."

Qualifying for the final is an impressive feat considering that Nyirenda has been with Baroka only since July.

The former Zambia national team boss admits there were naysayers who questioned his wisdom of joining the low-ranked club. "When I came to South Africa people thought I came to a small team. But it's not about being at a small or big team, it's about what impact you can have."

Nyirenda is on a collision course for a tactical battle with Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic as they both seek their maiden title in SA.

Ahead of the final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium against Bucs on December 8, the former Kaizer Chiefs forward made a bold statement.

"I am a man who goes to finals and wins titles. In Mozambique I was in the final of the national cup and won the league there. In Zambia there are so many medals in my house I don't know where I will put the one I will get after beating Pirates," said Nyirenda.

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