German's Josef Zinnbauer appointed Orlando Pirates head coach

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Colleta Dewa

Johannesburg-  Orlando Pirates have announced the appointment of 49-year-old German coach Josef Zinnbauer as head coach of the club.

Zinnbauer was unveiled as coach on Tuesday having signed a three-year contract with the Sea Robbers.

Despite assurances that interim coach Rhulani Mokwena would be given time to turn things around for the Buccaneers, it seems Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza lost patience with the young trainer.

The season had barely begun when former coach Micho fled South Africa and resigned his post in a whirlwind week that saw him appointed as Zamalek boss.

Since Micho’s flight, Mokwena has struggled to coax a complete performance from Pirates who have produced some decent football but undermined their own quality with poor finishing and weak defence.

Fans were growing restless with Mokwena’s direction but  Khoza has made it clear that Zinnbauer is being brought in to win

“It is a fine balancing act that goes beyond the all-important technical skills. A coach is tasked to win through others.  His ability to keep the team focused, making them work in concert, with minimal lapses is an important requirement. I hope that Josef Zinnbauer is able to hit the deck running. I know I am fully representative of all the Orlando Pirates supporters in wishing him good luck," said Khoza in a statement.

Zinnbauer has coached professionally since he retired from football in 2005 working in Germany and Switzerland and his appointment at Orlando Pirates is his first African assignment.

“I welcome the opportunity to lead one of the prestigious clubs on the African continent. I hope under my lead, we are able to return the club to its winning ways,” Zinnbauer said at his unveiling as Orlando Pirates new head coach.

Mokwena will continue his term as interim coach until Zinnbauer’s work permit is granted, and will then return to his position as Pirates assistant coach alongside Fadlu Davids.

Pirates were dumped out of the Caf Champions League in the second qualifying round and flopped in both the MTN 8 and Telkom Knockout.

The Soweto giants are in the midst of a multi-season trophy drought that shows no signs of relenting with Pirates currently sixth in the PSL trailing league leaders Kaizer Chiefs by 17 points, they achieved just one win in four matches in November and suffered back-to-back derby defeats in the cup and then the league. 

 

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