Shock as Pirates opt for little known German

New Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer from Germany, poses with the club's home jersey. / Orlando Pirates website
New Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer from Germany, poses with the club's home jersey. / Orlando Pirates website

New Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer's mandate will be to achieve what six men before him failed to do, which is to deliver a trophy to the Buccaneers.

Pirates' dramatic season took yet another twist yesterday as the German was announced as the new coach four months after Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic abandoned the Sea Robbers ship.

Since winning the Nedbank Cup in 2014 under Vladimir Vermezovic, Pirates have seen six coaches come and go.

Eric Tinkler, Muhsin Ertugral, Augusto Palacios, Kjell Jonevret, Sredojevic and Rulani Mokwena all failed to add to the trophy cabinet.

Mokwena, who was interim coach for 16 games, returns to his role as assistant.

Legendary former Bucs midfielder Benedict Vilakazi was at a loss for words after yet another abrupt change in the coaching reins at the club.

"I don't know what to say. It's difficult for me to comment because we don't really know much about the (new) coach," Vilakazi felt.

"It is a surprise to me that someone new has been appointed so we will just have to see how it goes."

Vilakazi feels that Mokwena will learn from the experience he gained as the caretaker and will become even better.

"Rulani is still a young coach and it's good that he will remain with the team. I think maybe he needs to get a few more years of experience under his belt; he will be alright.

"It's not easy coaching a big club like Pirates and it was the first time he was the main coach." For Mokwena it was a case of "be careful what you ask for" because things didn't go according to plan after replacing Micho.

Zinnbauer has no coaching experience in Africa and has not won a title anywhere. Nevertheless, the 49-year-old insists he is up to the task.

"I expect everyone at the club to give their best as I will give mine. It will not be easy but we will do my best to make Pirates become great again. What I can promise to the fans is to work hard with passion for this great club," Zinnbauer said in a video message.

Mokwena's record:

  • Games 15; Wins 4; Draws 7; Losses 4; Goals scored 20; Conceded 20

Pirates coaches since 2008

  • Ruud Krol: June 2008 to June 2011
  • Julio Leal: July 2011 to Match 2012
  • Augusto Palacios: March 2012 to September 2012
  • Roger de Sa: September 2012 to January 2014
  • Eric Tinkler: January 2014 to February 2014
  • Vladimir Vermezovic: February 2014 to December 2014
  • Eric Tinkler: December 2014 to June 2016
  • Muhsin Ertugral: July 2016 to November 2016
  • Augusto Palacios: November 2016 to February 2017
  • Kjell Jonevret February 2017 to August 2017
  • Milutin Sredojevic: July 2017 to August 2019
  • Rulani Mokwena: August 2019 to December 2019
  • Josef Zinnbauer: December 2019 - ?

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