Now Black Leopards show Lionel Soccoia the exit

Lionel Soccoia is no longer coach of Black Leopards.
Lionel Soccoia is no longer coach of Black Leopards.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Black Leopards have become the third club since Monday to fire their coach.

Lidoda Duvha's French mentor Lionel Soccoia was informed of his dismissal at the club's offices in Polokwane yesterday afternoon.

On Mondays, Chippa United and AmaZulu went their separate ways with Clinton Larsen and Cavin Johnson respectively.

Leopards, who are positioned 12th, have won one of their five matches, losing three and drawing one. At the weekend they were beaten 2-0 by neighbours Baroka at Thohoyandou Stadium.

The Limpopo outfit confirmed on their social media platforms that Soccoia and his assistants, including Patrick Mabedi, have been relieved of their duties.

"A mutual agreement has been reached to separate with the technical team," said the club, before releasing a statement later.

Soccoia joined Leopards in June, taking over from Englishman Dylan Kerr, who had resigned.

The Frenchman's last job before Leopards was with African Lyon of Tanzania.

Leopards have also let go of their team manager Mlungisi "Professor" Ngubane, who also joined the Thohoyandou side just three months ago.

"Black Leopards would like to confirm that we have parted ways with coach Lionel Soccoia, assistant coach Patrick Mabedi and team manager, Professor Ngubane," club spokesperson Berry Ramunenyiwa said yesterday.

"The parties agreed to separate amicably for the sake of the team and the supporters," he added.

Morgan Shivambu and Samuel Banda have been roped in as caretaker coaches.

Leopards' next match is away to Stellenbosch on Saturday.

So much was expected from Leopards following a decent showing in the transfer market

Leopards signed Thuso Phala, Thabo Matlaba, Mogakolodi Ngele, Siyabonga Zulu, Cuthbert Malajila, Jonas Mendes, Mumuni Abubakar, Donashano Malama and Andriamirado "Dax" Andrianarimanana in preparation for the 2019/2020 campaign.

Fixtures (3pm unless stated)

Saturday: Polokwane v SuperSport, Peter Mokaba Stadium; Stellenbosch v Leopards, Cape Town Stadium; Chippa v Celtic, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium; Sundowns v Maritzburg, Lucas Moripe Stadium, 6pm; Wits v Pirates, Moses Mabhida Stadium, 8.15pm

Sunday: CPT City v Arrows, Cape Town Stadium; Baroka v Highlands, Peter Mokaba Stadium

Who'll plug gaps left by axed coaches?

Jozef Vukusic

The Slovakian is in high demand after his impressive season with Polokwane City. Vukusic has been linked with a number of clubs but is understood to be the number one target for AmaZulu. He is in the country, but when called yesterday, he refused to comment on his future.

Luc Eymael

The mercurial Belgian rubs a number of people up the wrong way in local football, but that does not diminish his acumen as a coach. Eymael is currently coaching Egyptian side Tala'ea El Gaish. He has in the past expressed interest in returning to the PSL.

Ruud Krol

The Dutchman has endeared himself to South African fans after his unprecedented successes with Orlando Pirates eight years ago. Krol is currently on the market after parting ways with Tunisian giants SC Sfaxien in May.

Patrick Aussems

Football fans may not be aware, but Aussems nearly became Leopards coach at the start of the season. The coach of Tanzanian giants Simba SC wanted to build on his success from the previous season with the club where they reached the group stages of the Champions League. They, however, suffered an early elimination last month and he could be tempted to come to South Africa.

Dylan Kerr

The Englishman made an impression in the six months he was in charge of Leopards last season. After he resigned, Kerr returned home to spend time with his ailing mother, who died two weeks ago. He could be lured back as he is currently without a team.

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