Igesund remembers stint with Team of Choice

2015-04-08 00:00

GORDON Igesund has achieved just about everything in South African football. The former Bafana Bafana mentor remains the only man to have won four PSL titles at four different clubs. He has also won two top-eight cups. But despite his domestic success with Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Santos and Manning Rangers, Igesund still holds a special place in his heart for Maritzburg United.

The 58-year-old coached the Team of Choice in 2008/9, at a time when Maritzburg were playing their home games at Woodburn Rugby Stadium. He may not have won anything during his tenure at the club, but to this day he looks back fondly on his time in the Midlands and salutes the work done by chairperson Farouk Kadodia. With AmaZulu still at the foot of the PSL table, Maritzburg are by far the best team in the province this season.

“I am very happy for Farouk, his team and where they are at the moment. He is a fantastic guy. He loves the game passionately and I had some fond memories here,” Igesund told The Witness in the tunnel after his SuperSport United had knocked over Maritzburg 1-0 at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

“I really enjoyed my time here. When you come back to a team who you’ve coached before it’s always nice to see them doing well …”

There was also a return on Saturday for two former Maritzburg stars, now turning out in SuperSport colours.

Senegalese centre back Mor Diouf was immense for Maritzburg between 2009 and 2012 before making the move up to Pretoria, while former Maritzburg captain Michael Morton is now also playing under Igesund.

Both players were effective on Saturday. Diouf gave Harry Gwala a taste of what they used to have by being a pillar of strength aerially for 90 minutes — bashing away long balls as he and Clayton Daniels preserved SuperSport’s clean sheet.

Morton, meanwhile, was introduced as a substitute early in the second half. Seldom glamorous with the ball at his feet, Morton’s strength has always been his energy and physicality. That was precisely what he delivered on Saturday, his fresh legs allowing him to cover every inch of the pitch as he broke up play and made life difficult for Maritzburg.

“It’s always great to be back here. I love the stadium and it was a great crowd again so I enjoyed it,” the central midfielder said of his return. “I think we got a bit lucky at the end there. They could have scored a couple but we scraped through.”

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