JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic may have been cautious about his team’s aspirations for silverware in the past two seasons but the Serbian tactician is banking on winning in the new term.
After Pirates finished 11th in the Premiership three seasons ago, Sredojevic returned in a bid to rescue the sinking ship. But that has been something of a roller-coaster ride.
In the past two seasons under his care, the Buccaneers were brought back to life as players blended together thanks to the coach’s easily understood philosophy.
That unity only carried them as far as the runners-up spot in the Premiership in the last two seasons, while last season they also lost the Telkom Knockout final.
However, while the success story of how he turned a team flirting with relegation into championship material for two successive seasons will be told for generations to come, Sredojevic believes it is about time the “football gods” repay them for their investments.
“When I turn behind, there are things that are called trophies and there are some that are invisible, and will leave a legacy even when I vacate my post from this great club,” Sredojevic said ahead of their 2019/20 PSL opener against Bloemfontein Celtic tomorrow.
“We are not thinking about anything that’s left behind, but we are fully thinking about the season that’s in front of us.
"We have a leadership that’s pushing us to reach the criteria and standards, and once we do that, trophies will come. It is there we shall then see what football will repay us with for the sleepless nights and enormous working days.”
In a bid to help the Buccaneers shake off their five-year trophy drought, the club’s management, led by chairman Irvin Khoza, went on a shopping spree during the transfer window, signing not fewer than nine players to bolster the squad.
Notably newbies include former Maritzburg United duo Fortune Makaringe and Siphisihle Ndlovu, while Gabadinho Mhango brings a wealth of experience.
Mike de Bruyn