Pirates Coach Given Open Cheque Book

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By Confidence Musariri

WINDHOEK

New premiership champions Orlando Pirates boss Hendrik Dawids has given an open cheque book to coach Brian Isaacs and further asked him to name the price for anything that he wants in order to further strengthen the Katutura giants, New Era has learned.

Isaacs will meet with Dawids and club operations manager Mario Carrera for a two-day “serious meeting,” starting Thursday, according to the club owner.

With victory celebrations still abuzz in the high-density suburb of Katutura, especially Dolam, Dawids yesterday said he would not hesitate to give Isaacs anything he wants to bolster Pirates.

“Mario arrives in the country this Wednesday and we will meet to discuss the Caf budget because our minds are already on the African Champions League. Brian will also have to tell me about five players he would want in the team. I’m not restricted to Namibian players, I am even prepared to sign players from Brazil, if that’s what it takes,” he said jokingly.

Dawids is no stranger in the African Safari, having been in the same competition with Blue Waters three seasons ago, while Isaacs will use his Nations Cup notebook.

Also topping the meeting will be the contract of goalkeeper Athiel Mbaha, whose season loan from Black Leopards expired at the end of June.

“I want to keep him. He is the best in the land right now, but at the same time I will not stand in the way of players in case they want to go abroad,” said the man who sold more than six players to South Africa during his heydays with Blue Waters.

The 54-year-old who was a front-runner for the NFA presidency in 2007 still recounts his defeat to John Muinjo, with emotion.

“That was the darkest part of my football career because I had done my homework. After Muinjo was pronounced winner, the two Fifa guys who were present came to me and pleaded with me not to leave football. I had actually wanted to leave everything,” he recounts.

But as fate would have it, Dawids on Saturday might have taken solace in the fact that he won the title in his home town of Muinjo.

“I was never a Pirates supporter. I was just doing it because they had asked me to come help them out after I left Blue Waters. I love football, but Pirates was the last thing on my mind.

“Today, I am a proud Buccaneer. I love the spirit the Pirates fans carry. I know this will ignite other homes of football such as African Stars, Tigers and Black Africa,” he said.

Dawids is the first black Namibian club owner to have won a league title, let alone with two different sides. He won it twice with Blue Waters between 2003 and 2005.

“I still have ten years in football. I want to give back something to Namibia,” he said.

Pirates will use an artificially turfed Sam Nujoma Stadium in the African Safari early next year.

Dawids says his initial idea of hiring a Dutch technical director has been erased by the achievements of Brian Isaacs.

“There is no more room for the Dutchman,” he says.

The Dawids-Carrera-Isaacs meeting is also expected to discuss the bonuses of the league champions and already there is talk of hefty incentives for the players, as Dawids is considered to have generous, bulging pockets.

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