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Is Benni still the frontrunner for Pirates head coach role?

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There is still talk that legendary Buccaneer Benni McCarthy could be in line to serve as the new head coach at Orlando Pirates.

Former AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has consistently been linked with the Pirates job, although he has repeatedly suggested that the job is not available considering co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids had seemed well-entrenched in their positions.

Yet, as it turned out, Davids has been dramatically let go by Pirates. The Buccaneers stated that Davids, who joined the organisation in 2019 as an assistant coach, will leave the club upon the expiration of his contract at the end of this month.

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Pirates did not comment on Mandla Ncikazi’s future, and although he could be appointed as a standalone head coach, it does seem like a strong possibility that Benni McCarthy could join Bucs.

“Ncikazi is not leaving Pirates. Davids was obviously going to leave the club at the end of the season,” a SunSport source said. “But it is not clear whether Ncikazi will run alone next season or if he will be the assistant coach.”

As you can see below, there is also talk that Pirates are indeed looking for a head coach, with McCarthy said to still be the frontrunner, while Gavin Hunt, Steve Komphela and Pitso Mosimane have been linked with the club.

Would Benni be interested?

Interestingly, earlier this month, McCarthy’s former teammate Daine Klate has suggested he would love to one day be part of the coaching group with McCarthy.

“I have a soft spot for Pirates, if Benni asks me to come, I’ll gladly accept it,” Klate told SAFM. 

“This is something we spoke about when we were still playing. I love Pirates, I supported them as a kid and that’s why I ended up playing for them.”

Towards the end of March McCarthy was dramatically let go by AmaZulu despite there still being several games left in the season. Yet, after a 2021-22 season of apparent underperformance, McCarthy was shown the door.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY RESPONDS TO KAIZER CHIEFS, ORLANDO PIRATES REPORTS

Although he has been linked with several clubs, McCarthy has not yet secured a new job, although he is believed to be considering his next best steps. He has revealed why his lofty ambitions will hopefully one day lead him to Europe.

In an interview with SABC Sport, the popular coach suggested his heart would always be with South Africa, but revealed that a job in Europe remained the ultimate long-term goal.

“Of course South Africa is my home, it is my country, it will always have a priority for me… My ambition is to eventually coach in Europe. I want to coach in the (English) Premier League. I want to coach in the Championship, I want to coach in La Liga, I want to coach in Spain, in Portugal. So, that’s my ambition. I aim high, if you don’t aim you are never going to be able to know the limits that you can go. If you even capable of going there or if you just settle for mediocre.”

Recently it was already confirmed that McCarthy had headed to England on somewhat of an exploratory trip, which was to include visits to English Premier League outfit Brentford FC and possibly Crystal Palace later this month.

McCarthy holds a UEFA Pro License, and the visits were part of expanding his knowledge.



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