Former Golden Arrows tactician Mandla Ncikazi appears awestruck by what he found out at his new home club – Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi says he was always aware the Buccaneers are a huge football institution but what greeted him at the club was beyond his expectations.
The former Golden Arrows coach was appointed as understudy to Josef Zinnbauer in June and he will also work with Fadlu Davids in assisting the German.
Having discovered Pirates have more resources than he initially thought, Mandla Ncikazi has expressed his “fears” of “bigger expectations” on them to deliver on the pitch.
“I’ve never been in a scenario where the brand is this big. At Pirates, I always hear people saying it is a big club and I’ve always assumed but now I’ve got a real feel,” Ncikazi said on Metro FM as per iDiski Times.
“Big club, great preparations, big setup, professionalism. My fear [is] when people give resources the way Pirates have done, the biggest input, the bigger the resources they are provided with, the bigger the expectations and we have to try to perform better.
“We have to give more than what we have given previously. This club deserves more than what we have achieved.”
The Orlando Pirates job is the first time for Mandla Ncikazi to work outside his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.
He was before this the assistant coach of Maritzburg United and Golden Arrows before being thrust into the hot seat of Golden Arrows last season to replace Steve Komphela who had joined Mamelodi Sundowns.
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After guiding Golden Arrows to a respectable fourth spot finish on the Premier Soccer League table, Orlando Pirates then came calling.
“The reasons for leaving Golden Arrows for Orlando Pirates… When I left, I had a good discussion with our chair lady at Arrows that maybe we should keep it private,” said Ncikazi.
“But I had a good time at Golden Arrows, no regrets. I’ve grown in the club and I really appreciate the opportunity that they gave me. Unfortunately in the nature of football, without divulging too much, sometimes we have to move on and move to other territories [to see] whether we can still contribute in the same way. I’m happy to be at Pirates. I’ll try and give my contribution as much as I can to the best of my abilities.”
For the past two seasons, Orlando Pirates have finished third on the PSL standings and they now continue bidding for a first league title in a decade.