Johannesburg - It looks like firing Neil Tovey is far from solving Mpumalanga Black Aces problems as the team is now struggling to attract a suitable coach to take over from the former Bafana Bafana captain.
Although well traveled former Orlando Pirates coach Viktor Bondarenko has declared himself available to take over as coach of Aces, the team has reportedly been rejected by four coaches that were earmarked to replace Tovey.
Zimbabwean former Orlando Pirates coach Roy Barreto, South African former Under-23 coach Kenny Ndlazi, former Bafana Bafana coach April “Styles” Phumo and former Platinum Stars coach Miguel Gamondi who were all earmarked as possible replacements for Tovey were reportedly unavailable.
“It will be very difficult for any coach to take over there,” said Ndlazi who has just signed a short term contract to take charge of Swaziland Premier League side Manzini Sundowns.
“There is a lot of interference there from management. It has now reached a stage where coaches are now cautious when accepting any job, and unfortunately a lot of coaches now don’t want to be dictated to. That is why most have turned down their offer.”
But Aces are desperate to secure the services of a coach before the league resumes after the short festive break. The team is tipped as possible relegation candidates and is lying second from the bottom on the 16-team Absa Premiership.
And now the rejection of the head coaching job at the beleaguered side comes at a time when after firing both Tovey and Calvin Petersen, the team had also suspended assistant coach Dumisa Ngobe along with goalkeeper coach Cyprian Maimane.
“The suspension of the duo was due to management’s feeling that they should also shoulder some of the blame for the team’s pathetic performance where they lost nine of their 12 opening league matches,” said our source.
Ndlazi, who guided the South African U-23 squad to a 3-1 victory over Brazil at the Sydney Olympic Games during 2000, was in charge of Mpumalanga Aces when they lost 1-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2008/9 final.
However, Ndlazi has now established himself in Swaziland football to such an extend that at one stage he was even considered for the senior national coaching post when Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba resigned to take up the Olympic job in South Africa.