Esteemed local coach Owen da Gama out in the cold, for now...

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Owen Da Gama (Gallo Images)
Owen Da Gama (Gallo Images)
  • While Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt are flying high, another esteemed coach Owen da Gama is out in the cold.
  • This follows the demise of Highlands Park, who sold their PSL status.
  • Some have suggested Da Gama would be an ideal replacement for Mosimane at Sundowns.

Fate, it is accepted, can deal out a cynically contrasting hand - and none so more than when it involves the destiny of soccer coaches, described sardonically as the recipients of one of the most precarious of all occupations.

And if proof of this is required, view the euphoric and publicised acclaim currently meted out to Al Ahly-bound Pitso Mosimane after he had become a successful fixture at Mamelodi Sundowns and new Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt - while Owen da Gama remains conspicuously out in the cold after the sale of Highlands Park.

A forthright Da Gama has confirmed he is currently out of a job in the grim climate of the coronavirus pandemic, despite receiving unconfirmed enquiries of employment from clubs who are themselves immersed in problems of their own.

"I made the calculated decision not to pursue these dubious approaches from clubs I would prefer not to name," added Da Gama, "and rather wait for something akin to the professional organisation I experienced at Highlands - even if it meant a difficult period of uncertainty."

Da Gama described the demise of the legendary club known as "The Lions of the North" from the professional ranks for a second time - Highlands sold their NPSL franchise to now PSL reserve league club Jomo Cosmos in 1982 - as "something of a tragedy for South African soccer."

But he remained confident that Highlands will again return from SAFA's amateur ranks in which they will now compete during some time in the future.

In the meantime, some have suggested that Da Gama would be an ideal replacement for Mosimane at Sundowns - but the former Highlands coach confirms he has "heard nothing" from the PSL champion club known as The Brazilians.

Ironically, however, there is a past connection between Da Gama and Sundowns that the Brazilians would probably be happy to forget.

In 1989, When Da Gama was at the peak of his career as a player and considered one of the top footballers in the country, he master-minded Moroka Swallows' stunning 5-1 Bob Save Cup Final victory over Sundowns with two stunning goals in one of the most embarrassing moments in the Brazilians' proud history.

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