Igesund up for new challenge at Swallows

Newly appointed Moroka Swallows coach Gordon Igesund is under no illusions as to the task ahead in lifting the demoralised Birds off the foot of the Absa Premiership table and saving the famous Soweto club from relegation.

Birds CEO Leon Prins on Monday appointed Igesund to replace Rainer Zobel as head coach. Zobel was axed after the Birds’ 1-1 draw against SuperSport United at the weekend.

Igesund joins Swallows on a six-month contract: “My job is to get Swallows out of relegation. But depending on if I like Swallows and they like me I could extend my stay. But I am not worried about the future, only the present, and that is to get Swallows back winning games.”

Zobel failed to win a match in the league this season and managed only two draws in a nine-match winless streak.

Igesund (54) said after his appointment on Monday: “We have already lost 25 points. So it is like starting with a minus-25 point handicap. But I am confident in the potential of the players and my ability to lift Swallows. They are a famous sleeping giant of South African soccer and I want to wake them up.


“But first my priority is to get off the bottom of the table and start winning games. It is a massive challenge but I love this type of challenge and I am up for it.”

Right pedigree
Igesund has the right pedigree. He won championship titles with Manning Rangers, Santos, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns. He is the only South Africa-born coach to have won four league titles with as many clubs. But more importantly, from Swallows’ and Prins’s point of view, Igesund has saved clubs in similar situations.

Igesund said he goes to Swallows with his eyes wide open.

He showed that he is not just a league winner when he took charge of then newly promoted Maritzburg United three weeks before the kick-off of the 2008/09 season and created a minor miracle in keeping the club in the Absa Premiership and avoiding relegation. He inherited a Maritzburg side that had had little pre-season training and that had made no major signings.

Igesund said: “I am ready to roll up my sleeves and do it for Swallows.”

Igesund also helped Free State Stars steer clear of trouble when he coached them on a short-term contract last season.

Prins said: “We believe Igesund is the right man for the job. We had plenty of applications but he was the only coach we spoke to and are delighted he joined us and will get us out of trouble.”

Igesund will not be making sweeping changes of major signings: “I first want to assess and give every player a chance to impress and show me he deserves to play for Swallows. What I will do is change tactics and discipline. I am looking forward to this new challenge.” — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

Patel: South Africa on target to attract R1.2-trillion in investments

The trade minister says the country is on track to reach more than R1-trillion worth of investments over five years, despite Covid-19 disruptions

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — that may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast.

Deconstructing South Africa’s construction industry performance

The construction industry has contracted sharply, partly due to Covid, and needs to rebalance its focus if it wants to survive
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Limpopo big-game farmer accused of constant harassment

A family’s struggle against alleged intimidation and failure to act by the authorities mirrors the daily challenges farm dwellers face

Did Botswana execute ‘poachers’ ?

The Botswana Defence Force’s anti-poaching unit has long been accused of a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Over 20 years the unit has killed 30 Namibians and 22 Zimbabweans

Zondo tightens his grip with criminal complaint against Zuma

The state capture commission’s star witness now faces a criminal complaint and another summons

Sharp sting of the Green Scorpions

Crime busters secure a 97% conviction rate and register more criminal dockets for range of crimes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…