Komphela could open doors for Mandla Ncikazi

Former Arrows coach seeks greener pastures in Gauteng

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Lamontville Golden Arrows head coach Mandla Ncikazi is proud of the season his club has had in his first season in charge.
Lamontville Golden Arrows head coach Mandla Ncikazi is proud of the season his club has had in his first season in charge.
Image: Steve Haag /BackPagePix/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela holds the key to former Golden Arrows mentor Mandla Ncikazi’s next move as either Orlando Pirates or Mamelodi Sundowns could be his destination.

This is according to a source close to both Komphela and Ncikazi, after the latter’s exit from Arrows on Wednesday. The informant narrated how Ncikazi’s future may be determined by Komphela.

“Pirates are trying to replace [coach Josef] Zinnbauer with Komphela... the negotiations are ongoing. Komphela wants to come with Ncikazi. On the other hand, Sundowns are preparing to rope in Ncikazi as third coach, should Komphela join Pirates,” said the informant.

“Remember, Ncikazi and Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi came a long way. It is Mngqithi who gave Ncikazi his first break at Arrows. Again, he can still go to Pirates without Komphela. Opportunities are opened for Ncikazi, that's why he asked to leave and seek for greener pastures in Gauteng.”

Komphela and Ncikazi share a brotherly bond, having worked together at Maritzburg United and at Arrows. When Komphela left Abafana Bes’thende two weeks before the start of last season, Ncikazi, who had been assisting him, assumed the head coach’s role and went on to guide the Durban side to their best season ever, finishing fourth.

Ncikazi didn’t answer his phone yesterday. However, in his brief interview with Abafana Bes’thende's media department, the outgoing coach made it clear he wanted the confidentiality of what led to his departure to be maintained.

“The contents of the meeting and the discussion leading to this mutual decision will remain private as we agreed in the meeting and I hope this... will be respected,’’ said Ncikazi.

Ncikazi hinted that he was leaving to seek greener pastures. The 52-year-old trainer thanked all the people he worked with at the club.

“It’s a positive exit, full of great memories. I want to thank the chairlady [Mato Madlala] for everything that she’s done for me and my football career. I am grateful to the players, the team’s management and support staff,” said Ncikazi.

Arrows manager Nonceba Madlala referred to the club’s statement, insisting they had nothing to add. According to the statement, the split was amicable and Ncikazi would be welcome to return in future.

Pirates senior official Floyd Mbele and Sundowns manager Yogesh Singh could also not be reached for comment.

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