Chan coaches: It’s like coming home

2014-01-12 14:00

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Zimbabwe, Uganda managers have coached SA teams and hope their knowledge of players and conditions will help their teams.

Milutin Sredojevic and Ian Gorowa say that their visit to South Africa is like a homecoming.

The men, who have had stints as coaches with Premier Soccer League teams?–?Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns?–?will lead Uganda and Zimbabwe in the African Nations Championship (Chan) this afternoon.

The two hope to use their knowledge of South African conditions to good effect to help their countries do well in the tournament.

Sredojevic’s Cranes take on Burkina Faso, while Gorowa’s Warriors will play Morocco.

Both games are at the Athlone Stadium at 5pm and 8pm.

Micho, as the former Pirates coach is fondly known, says he is happy to be back. He hopes his stay will be fruitful and not like his disappointing 2006 stint with the Buccaneers.

He says the tournament will give him the opportunity to amend and close the previous sad chapter?–?although he is not bitter at the manner in which he left the club.

But he concedes it will not be easy because his team is made up of unprofessional and inexperienced players.

“We are probably the only federation that is self-sustainable because the government does not support us, so our preparations have not been the best.

“Our league is no longer professional after SuperSport pulled out. We respect all the teams,” says Sredojevic.

“Morocco have Raja Casablanca players who reached the Fifa World Cup championship final after beating the North and South American champions.

“Burkina Faso are last year’s Nations Cup runners-up and Zimbabwe have always been a major force in African football?– so it won’t be easy for us, but we are up to the task.”

Gorowa lived in the Mother City during his stay with Ajax and is optimistic about Zimbabwe’s chances.

He says the tournament will present the players with the opportunity to stake their permanent places in the national team.

“The 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers are around the corner, so the tournament means a lot to these players in terms of where they are playing at the highest level,” says Gorowa.

He says he is happy with the team’s preparations and is looking forward to a good tournament in a place that is a home away from home.

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