Any role will do for Palacios
Augusto Palacios (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Augusto Palacios on Monday declared he would take whatever position the Buccaneers' administration offered.
"I will be happy to continue in the role of head coach," said Palacios.
"If club chairman Irvin Khoza and his administration feel it is better for me to return to the development sphere, I will be ready to do so."
Palacios felt it would be possible for him to head the affairs of both the first team and the development structure, suggesting it could be a good idea, while providing a bridge from which the most gifted prospects could switch from the junior to the senior ranks.
The seasoned former Peruvian World Cup midfield star and long-serving coach of Bafana Bafana, Kaizer Chiefs, and Mamelodi Sundowns, has been associated with the Buccaneers for 17 years, mainly in the role of development director.
When Pirates found themselves in a dilemma during the past, ultimately triumphant season, they fired struggling Brazilian coach Julio Cesar Leal. It was Palacios the Buccaneers then favoured to right the ship.
The ring-wise campaigner was appointed acting head coach of the Pirates' senior team - a position he held in the past - with the Buccaneers retaining the Premier League title over the weekend and completing a second successive season in which they captured three major titles.
It has been almost unanimously felt in Premier Soccer League (PSL) circles that Palacios played a pivotal role in guiding Pirates out of the crisis and steering the Buccaneers back onto a victory course.
Palacios felt this vital avenue of communication had largely been missing during the reign of Pirates' recent coaches.
"The development structure at the club is already firmly in place, with various officials who know their jobs well and what is required of them."
Meanwhile, the Pirates players, spearheaded by charismatic, goal-poaching Benni McCarthy and goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, have implored Pirates to retain Palacios as head coach - suggesting he fell ideally into the role of "a player's coach".
Khoza, however, has remained non-committal, while pointing out that "it is not the players who choose the coaches at Pirates".