Orlando Pirates director Stanley Tshabalala has played down the speculation that former Golden Arrows coach Mandla Ncikazi could be set to join the Sea Robbers.
“I’m not sure, I don’t know anything about it. I also read the reports but I’m in Cape Town as I speak to you. I just heard that he left Arrows, but I don’t know anything about it, and like I say, I’m in Cape Town as we speak. I don’t know if he is going to Baroka or to Pirates, I’m not sure. I haven’t heard about it yet,” Tshabalala told South African media.
The South African football fraternity was left shocked on Wednesday after it emerged that Ncikazi parted ways with Golden Arrows.
According to KickOff.com, Ncikazi said there were no hard feelings between himself and Arrows management.
“It is a positive exit full of great memories,” said Ncikazi.
“The contents of the meeting and the discussions leading to this mutual decision will remain private as we agreed in the meeting and I hope this section will be respected. I wish all the best for the team going forward,” he added.
The 52-year-old became one of the most admired coaches locally last season as he led Abafana Bes’thende to a fourth place finish, narrowly missing out on securing qualification for continental competition.
Should Ncikazi join Pirates, it remains to be seen if he will join as head coach or as a technical advisor to current coach Josef Zinnbauer.
Zinnbauer did not exactly impress most Sea Robbers fans last season. While he did manage to win the MTN 8 tournament, Pirates failed to mount a title challenge before ultimately finishing third.
In defence of the German, he was affected by injuries to key players at different points of the season through no fault of his own so the club may opt to fully support him for another reason while giving him resources to develop a squad worthy of challenging for the league title.