Ali Akan was yesterday officially unveiled as the new chairman of Orlando Pirates, taking over on a 5-year contract that would see remain at the helm of the club until 2020.
The much-travelled Akan, who has coached more than seven teams in the Namibian premiership, follows in the footsteps of Sedekia Axab Gowaseb as chairman. Akan’s appointment was endorsed by various club founders, who tasked the Turkish national with the responsibility of fully professionalising the club.
As for his long-term goals, Akan said one of his main objectives is to professionalise all the club’s operations, from the players on the field to the various administrators in the offices.
He added that they would work extra hard to make sure the club’s supporters fill up the stadiums just like in the past.
“We also want to have branches in as many towns as possible, so that we can mobilse all our supporters in those towns. Obviously turning the club’s fortunes around won’t just happen overnight, it’s a gradual process that will require us to work hard and do things differently. I think it’s not money that can make all these things happen, but it will be the way we conduct ourselves,” said Akan.
Besides Akan’s appointment, the club also roped in the services of Mabos Vries, who will be the new chief operating officer (COO) while Jacky Brown is new head of finance, Usi Hoebeb takes over as head of marketing and public relations, and African Areseb as general manager.
It was also announced at yesterday’s press conference that the club unceremoniously parted ways with coach Bertus Bock, who will now be replaced by Pirates’ former stalwart defender Ivan Namaseb in the interim. Namaseb will be deputised by Enrico Afrikaner and Heribert Kapeng as goalkeeper coach. Jo-Ann Krohne was unveiled as the new team manager.
The club also utilised the platform to announce its new signings, which include South African import Lesego Thabo Midiba, who joined the club from Dolphins FC in the South African 2nd Division. Other new arrivals are Christian Doeseb (midfilder) from Swakopmund outfit Blue Boys, King Chibambo (striker) from Julinho Sporting, Tinashe Masika (midfielder) from Tigers, Amos Iyambo from Otjiwarongo FC, Werlwin Hanamub from Touch and Go and John Novengi from Tigers.
Pirates are set to kick off the 2015/16 MTC Premiership season with crucial ties against Tura Magic on Friday at the Independence Stadium, and against Unam on Sunday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium.