New Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says Mandla Ncikazi is an important member of the Pirates coaching staff as he helps the foreign team of coaches settle in.
With the arrival of Riveiro last month, Mandla Ncikazi was demoted to assistant coach. The move came after a season where Ncikazi, alongside Fadlu Davids, failed to claim any silverware for the Sea Robbers in a co-coaching role.
Despite Davids’ exit, Ncikazi has been kept on at Pirates where he will serve as an assistant coach along with Sergio Almenara, who came with Riveiro as his other assistant and fitness trainer, Miguel Bellver Esteve.
Speaking at the DStv Premiership launch in Randburg, Riveiro admitted to leaning on Ncikazi’s local experience as they look to adapt quickly and hit the ground running.
“It has been really good working with Mandla; he is a very humble guy with a lot of experience in the country,” Riveiro told media at the launch.
“And I’m smart enough to understand that he is going to have a huge contribution for us in order to accelerate the process, in order to help us understand the [SA football] culture, players, coaches, referees, and everything around the game.
“So, I really appreciate what Mandla is doing for us, and he is going to be an important member of the technical team. He’s going to bring a lot of knowledge and experience about the tournament, the players, and the other coaches.
“We are also learning with him. He’s an important part of this quick process that we have to do to be prepared for the season.”
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