Pirates want Krol to stay
Nelspruit - Orlando Pirates players have put the challenge to the team's hierarchy to offer coach Ruud Krol a contract extension and lead the side to next season's CAF Champions league campaign.
Krol's three-year contract with the club ends as the season concludes and he will now sit down with chairman Irvin Khoza to map the way forward.
With the Dutch native having led the side to a treble this season, completed by a 3-1 win over Black Leopards in the Nedbank Cup final at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday, logic is on him staying.
Midfielder Isaac Chansa was adamant that with Krol, having led the team to the Premiership crown on the dramatic final day of the season to add to their MTN8 triumph earlier in the campaign, was not going anywhere.
"I think that obviously won't happen after we won the treble," said Chansa, scorer of the opening goal in the final.
Striker Thulasizwe Mbuyane followed Chansa with a brace.
"Management said that they would have a talk with him when the season is over, now we are just waiting for them."
While captain Lucky Lekgwathi said that his game has improved under Krol, he saw the bigger picture for the club if they maintained the same playing and coaching personnel heading to the new season.
"I'm hoping that we could keep the same team for the new season, but we have to respect that the chairman Irvin Khoza makes the decisions," said Lekgwathi.
"Me personally, I have benefited a lot under Krol as coach and I think it's because I'm a defender and he also was a defender in his playing days."
Ironically, 34-year-old Lekgwathi will be sitting down with Khoza in the near future about his contract extension with his current one-year deal coming to an end next month.
"I still want to play for this team, I'm still strong, my legs will tell me when it's time to retire."
After the match, Krol expressed his relief that he was given time to complete his objectives and will leave with his head held high even if he parts ways with the Soweto outfit.
"After two years of hard work, it was important for us to get something out of this season even though we had our ups and downs," he said.
"In football you get coaches who get who get sacked early which means that it is not possible to build a team."
Though, it appears that the former Netherlands captain might just be holding all the cards following his success this season and won't struggle to find a new team in South Africa.
Having endured an uneasy time with the side where his job never seemed secured, he could opt to leave with pride intact.
The one incentive that could keep him is the opportunity of playing in African competition and leading his Pirates team through their Champions League campaign.
Krol appeared eager to be part of the continental tournament with Pirates - still the only South African team to have won the club competition back in 1995.
"That would be a challenge," Krol said.
"I have had successes in Africa, and before I came to Pirates I was with Zamalek and brought them to the last eight (the lucrative group stages) of the competition, but I will have to wait to see what happens."