Orlando Pirates technical director Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala has broken his silence over long-time allegations of meddling in coaches’ duties and influencing team selections at the club.
For years it has been alleged Tshabalala, a highly-respected figure in South African football and legendary former coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, sometimes coaches Bucs’ first team from behind the scenes, often to the frustration of the club’s head coaches.
But speaking on Gagasi FM’s Extra Time sports show hosted by Simtho Dladla and renowned players’ agent Mike Makaab, Tshabalala dismissed such speculation.
Tshabalala also addressed an incident that occurred in December 2020, during Josef Zinnbauer’s tenure, where he was captured by television cameras appearing to give instructions to Bucs captain Happy Jele, a reserve on that day, in a game against Cape Town City. Jele was then seen appearing to pass instructions to the Bucs players.
“I was also surprised. So, when you ask a player to bring you water, is that coaching?” Tshabalala, also a former Bafana Bafana coach, asked Extra Time.
“I was only sending him [Jele] to get me water, but he said, ‘We are not playing well today’. And I said, ‘All will be fine, just bring us water here, it’s the four of us [sitting in the stands together]’.
“But now it’s [portrayed] like I was coaching or what he must go and tell the coach to do. No coach wants to be told what to do and what not to do.”
Tshabalala said as a former coach, he is aware how uncomfortable a situation is when administrators interfere in a coach’s job. “When a coach is a coach, the team is his,” Tshabalala, also a founding member of Kaizer Chiefs, said.
“He works with that team and he owns the team. You can’t tell the coach which player to play – it can never happen.
“I don’t like that myself because when you are a coach the team belongs to you. Whoever comes from the outside and tries to tell you what to do must come to training sessions to see what you do. You can never change a team that has been selected by the coach.”
Spanish-born Jose Riveiro is in charge in his first season at Pirates and has done relatively well, winning the MTN8 title and pushing for second place in the DStv Premiership.
Pirates are also in the running for honours in the Nedbank Cup, where they meet Dondol Stars in the Nedbank Cup next weekend.
Bucs meet Chippa United in a league clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on Saturday (5.30pm).
This content was originally published here.