Orlando Pirates have announced the arrival of 31-year-old goalkeeper coach Jyri Nieminen from US outfit San Jose Earthquakes to replace Andrew Sparks, who has departed.
Sparks revealed his departure from the Buccaneers a couple of weeks ago after just one season with the club.
Sparks helped the Pirates goalkeeping department to their best return in recent seasons as all of Wayne Sandilands, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Jackson Mabokwane (who has departed) all did duty between the sticks throughout the 2018-19 campaign.
With Sparks leaving the club, Pirates have turned to Nieminen, who previously worked with the Qatarian and Estonian junior national teams, before moving to the Earthquakes at the start of 2018.
Nieminen joins Milutin Sredojevic’s backroom staff as they look to end their trophy drought next season and will be working with some experienced keepers at the Soweto giants.
— Orlando Pirates FC (@orlandopirates) June 24, 2019
Wayne Sandilands is four years older than his new coach, while Mpontshane is two years older with Brilliant Khuzwayo also just two years younger than Nieminen.
Despite his young age the coach possesses a Uefa A License specialising in goalkeeping and speaks six different languages.
Pirates revealed the news in a statement on their website: ‘Nieminen received his Uefa A goalkeeping license in 2016, possesses a degree in physical education and has a working knowledge of six languages, including fluency in English.’
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