Igesund seeks redemption after two harrowing years

2016-10-20 13:23
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - In its proclaimed enthusiasm one newspaper this week trumpeted the news that Gordon Igesund was returning to Highlands Park as coach to replace the out-of-element Allan Freese after representing "The Lions of the North" as a player 47 years ago.

This is not right. It should have read 37 years ago since he left Highlands to go to Austria to play for GAK and Admira Wack for some five years.

At 47 years he would have joined Highlands as an 11 year-old and played for them until he was 13.

But enough of that. What is pertinent is that there appears something prophetic and ordained about Igesund's sudden return to the newly promoted Highlands as he seeks redemption after two harrowing years in the relative doldrums and wilderness for someone who had previously basked in the glory of a unique record of guiding four different clubs to Premier League honours - and coming within a whisker of adding a fifth such triumph with Moroka Swallows.

In the last two years Igesund has lost his pinnacle post as head coach of Bafana Bafana, albeit unfairly many will say; been dismissed by a success-hungry SuperSport United after an initially bright, but brief tenure; found himself rejected as the Zambia national coach after reports that the job was in the bag  - and  overlooked by PSL clubs.

All this, it would seem, contrived to help transform a noticeably outspoken, ebullient and extroverted individual into something of an unapproachable recluse, who has almost gone into hiding as far as the media and others in soccer circles were concerned.

What, in the circumstances, is in many ways a logical offer from one-time glamour club Highlands - back in the soccer big-time after selling their NPSL franchise to Jomo Cosmos 34 years ago - must seem like manna from heaven for the 60 year-old Igesund who has been acclaimed as "The Golden Boy" of local soccer.

Can he now also make the waters part like Moses and perform another of the footballing miracles he has pulled out of the hat in the past?

Only time will tell.

The go-ahead Highlands administration are adamant the club will never again disappear from the mainstream of South African soccer - whether through relegation or any other more unorthodox  method - and after a shaky start to the season they have taken swift and appropriate action in shaking up the coaching hierarchy.
But with a tinge of the Igesund of old, the man who has been in the game as player and coach for more than 40 years, says he is looking far beyond that - and winning more honours is his objective.

Read more on:    highlands park  |  psl  |  sy lerman  |  gordon igesund  |  soccer

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