Sredojevic named coach of struggling Pirates
Soweto, South Africa | AFP | Serb Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic was confirmed Thursday in Soweto as coach of popular but underachieving South African club Orlando Pirates.
“There is huge room for improvement,” said the 47-year-old of a team that has won just one trophy in five seasons.
It will be a second stint in charge of the “Buccaneers” for the slightly-built European, whose previous spell lasted just seven months.
During that time, Sredojevic took Pirates to the 2006 CAF Champions League semi-finals, but indifferent domestic form cost him his job.
He has signed a three-year contract as successor to Swede Kjell Jonevret, who quit Wednesday after winning only six of 18 matches since taking over early this year.
“I am a changed, calmer and more confident coach that when last at Pirates,” stressed the Serb during a media conference at the Orlando Stadium home of Pirates.
“My biggest motivation for rejoining Pirates is the talent at the club. I see huge room for improvement.
“It is totally unacceptable that this great club has not being winning trophies. We must become a team of winners.”
Pirates were the first South African club to be crowned African champions, stunning ASEC Mimosas 1-0 in the Ivory Coast to win the 1995 African Cup of Champions Clubs.
They came close to further CAF titles this decade, finishing runners-up in the 2013 Champions League and 2015 Confederation Cup, the second-tier competition.
But the 2016-2017 domestic season was a disaster as the “Sea Robbers” ended a humiliating 11th in the 16-club Premiership and failed to win any of three cup competitions.
Poor results have been blamed partly on “prima donnas” reportedly dominating the changeroom, reducing various coaches to helpless onlookers.
A club insider told AFP this week that Jonevret was a good coach but lacked the man-management skills to rein in a group of big-headed players.
Sredojevic came to Africa in 2001 and coached clubs in Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania and Sudan and the national teams of Rwanda and Uganda.
He ended a successful spell as coach of Uganda last weekend having failed to secure $64,000 (54,000 euros) in unpaid salaries.