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Orlando Pirates announce little-known Spaniard Riveiro as head coach

A promo compilation picture released by Orlando Pirates of their new coach José Riveiro.
A promo compilation picture released by Orlando Pirates of their new coach José Riveiro.

Orlando Pirates have hired little-known José Riveiro of Spain as their new head coach.

Riveiro, 44, who was without a club, joins Pirates on a three-year deal, Bucs announced on Saturday.

Pirates also said Mandla Ncikazi, who was an interim co-coach with Fadlu Davids last season, has been relegated to his original position as assistant coach together with another new arrival, Sergio Almenara, also from Spain. Davids has parted ways with Bucs. 

Riveiro's technical team will also include Miguel Bellver Esteve as fitness trainer and Tyron Damons as goalkeeper coach.

Riveiro said he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“First of all, I would like to send a greeting to all the fans of Orlando Pirates. I am delighted to have joined the club,” he said.

“The Pirates project is an exciting one and I look forward to what lies ahead. It is an honour for me and my colleagues to have the responsibility to coach such an institution and compete for the highest goals.

“Along with my support team, we are looking forward to arriving and joining the task force and the group of players to start working immediately.

“We are going to work to make history together and build a team that we are all proud of.”

Pirates said Riveiro, “a modern, progressive coach with exciting, attacking football as his philosophy, will join the squad for preseason once all the relevant documents are processed”.

The Spaniard's lack of experience as a head coach will raise eyebrows with Bucs' faithful.

He was assistant coach of HJK Helsinki in Sweden from 2016 to 2018 and head coach of FC Inter Turku in Finland from 2019 to 2021.

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