WATCH | Ben Motshwari on how Mandla Ncikazi’s arrival has lifted Pirates’ confidence

Ben Motshwari of Orlando Pirates during the CAF Confederation Cup match between Orlando Pirates and ES Setif at Orlando Stadium on April 21, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ben Motshwari of Orlando Pirates during the CAF Confederation Cup match between Orlando Pirates and ES Setif at Orlando Stadium on April 21, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates’ midfield stalwart Ben Motshwari has said new assistant-coach Mandla Ncikazi is a father figure whose presence in the Bucs camp has lifted the players’ confidence.

The big three clubs in South Africa seem to be taking a cue from Mamelodi Sundowns’ successful co-coaching trio of Manqoba Mngqithi‚ Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela who swept up a league and cup double last season.

Kaizer Chiefs and Pirates still have a single head coach in Stuart Baxter and Josef Zinnbauer‚ but both have also bolstered their technical structures who can work as a brains trust.

Baxter has Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard as his assistants‚ but don’t be surprised to see his ex-Bafana Bafana assistant‚ also a former national head coach‚ and Chiefs’ new head of technical Molefi Ntseki involved in match preparations.

Zinnbauer’s assisting structure of Fadlu Davids has been bolstered by the arrival of Ncikazi‚ whose mature head coaching steering Lamontville Golden Arrows to a highest DStv Premiership finish of fourth in 2020-21 earned rave reviews.

“He’s a great coach. We played against him last season‚ against Golden Arrows. He brings a fatherhood figure‚” Motshwari said of Ncikazi ahead of Bucs’ Carling Black Label pre-season match-up against Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

“He is a great personality‚ he’s a very encouraging coach. And for us‚ having a really great technical team only gives us players that push and confidence.

“He’s gelling quite well with the players and he knows everyone here. For us having him is an honour.

“He’s just here to give us that thing we didn’t have just to make us great players again‚ and just give us that confidence booster. He knows what we are capable of and we are lucky to have him here at the club.”

Third-placed Premiership finishers Pirates kick off their season officially in their MTN8 quarterfinal at home to sixth-placed league rookies Swallows FC on the weekend of August 14.