By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
South Africa: Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojević has resigned, the Buccaneers announced on their official website.
It was a bombshell announcement that came seemingly out of nowhere, with the team set to play in the MTN8 quarterfinal against Highlands Park on Saturday.
Pirates stated on Friday night: “Milutin Sredojević relinquishes his position as Head Coach of Orlando Pirates Football Club after two seasons at the helm.
“The club would like to place on record that this decision was taken unilaterally, and it was the management’s decision to accept Mr Sredojević to vacate his position based on reasons he has presented, which are of a personal nature.
“Rulani Mokwena assumes coaching responsibilities, assisted by Fadlu Davids and Franck Plaine.”
Sredojevic’s decision to step down follows a 3-0 Absa Premiership defeat against SuperSport United at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Wednesday night.
Pirates have played just three games in the 2019/20 season. They began with a 3-1 league win at home against Bloemfontein Celtic, then followed that up with a 1-0 defeat away against Zambian club Green Eagles in Lusaka last weekend in the first leg of their Caf Champions League preliminary round tie.
Former Uganda national coach Sredojevic was entering his third season in his second stint at Pirates. He had not managed in his first two campaigns to satisfy the demand to end a trophy drought that stretched back to Bucs’ 2014 Nedbank Cup victory.
Under the likable Serbian, Pirates ended runners-up in the league to Mamelodi Sundowns in the past two seasons.
They reached the final of last season’s Telkom Knockout competition, being reduced to 10 men in the first half against Baroka FC, and eventually losing on penalties.
Micho now joins Egyptian Zamalek football club. Club President Martada Mansour confirmed the news revealing Micho was the team’s first choice. “Micho was our first choice,” Mansour told Kingfut.
“Tarek Yehia (current interim manager) will be his assistant, Ayman Abdelaziz will be appointed as team coordinator, and Amir Mortada will continue in his role as director of football.”
The announcement comes a couple of days after the club had announced another Serb, Stanojevic as the new coach and Mansour explains why.
“Stanojević will not take charge of Zamalek. It was a trick to find out who the club’s enemies are and I revealed them in front of everyone.”
Micho is expected to arrive in Cairo on Sunday and will be in charge when the team plays in the Caf Champions League next weekend.