One-on-one with Mazingiza
Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011 - 22:21
On Wednesday, Orlando Pirates Football Club announced the appointment of Senzo Mazingiza as club’s new Administrative Manager.
Many may not know of Mazingiza or his previous exploits in the football arena, however this is a gentleman who has over thirteen years of experience in the business of the game from infrastructure management, through tournament management, to running of an academy.
In an effort to ensure the Ghost know the person behind the name, Orlandopiratesfc.com sat down with the man himself for a short interview following his first day at the office.
OPFC.com: Congratulations on your appointment as the club’s Administrative Manager. How does it feel to be a Buccaneer?
Senzo Mazingiza (SM): I am delighted at the opportunity to join Orlando Pirates Football Club. It does not go bigger than this in as far as club football goes in South Africa.
OPFC.com: Before, we get into the core of this interview; please tell us and the multitudes of the Ghost out there, a little bit about yourself?
SM: Sure! I was born in Boipatong Township, in the Vaal Triangle which is now affectionately known as Sedibeng.
OPFC.com (cuts in): A lot of people think you are from the Eastern Cape, why is that?
SM: I joined Bay United after a successful spell with University of Pretoria Football Academy which later gained promotion to the National First Division. I was the General Manager of the club during my stay at the Tukkies with Steve Haupt and Sammy Throughton the Coaches at the time.
Mr. Fanus Engelbrecht approached me to come and assist him to set up a VW Soccer Club in Port Elizabeth. So, due to the fact that I had somehow reached the ceiling at the University, I took this opportunity and went to PE.
We bought Maritzburg United’s status and relocated the club to Port Elizabeth, and the rest is history.
OPFC.com: Carry on Boss...
SM: In my third year with Bay United, we got promoted to the Premier Soccer League in which I only served three months in that season as I was then recruited to join the 2010 FIFA Local Organising Committee (LOC).
My core responsibility at the LOC was infrastructure development and team base camp management. During the event, I was intensely involved in team services unit which was the core team that was responsible for the movement of teams from hotels to match venues.
After a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup, I was recruited by the Premier Soccer League as a Project Manager and my key functions were the stadium compliance manual and other football related projects.
OPFC.com: Okay. Moving along, your appointment as the club’s Administrative Manager, how did that come about, and briefly update us what’s your day-to-day obligations?
SM: When Joining the PSL I was on a short term contract and it was due to expire on the 31st August 2010. So, it was an open secret that I was looking for a placement but I did not speak to anyone as I was hoping that the League would renew my contract.
Don’t ask me how (smiling), but I received a call from the Chairman of Orlando Pirates and he asked to see me and as I said the rest is history. I am now a Buccaneer!
OPFC.com: You reported at work this morning, take us through your emotions when you walked in the Pirates offices to start a new life and your overall experience today?
SM: It was an overwhelming feeling, but being in football, it was not the first time being at Orlando Pirates Headquarters.
It’s been great so far, I had a warm welcoming.
OPFC.com: Mr Mazingiza, with your extensive experience in football administration from infrastructure management, through tournament management, to running of an academy.
What do you think will be the most challenging aspects of your job to maintain the on and off the field high standards set by club in the previous season?
SM: Treble winning institution like Orlando Pirates is an indication of a well oiled and smooth operating operation.
The most challenging will be to maintain these standards and push the bar high wherever possible. We (management) have discussed some ideas and projects that we will reveal as soon as we are ready with the details.
OPFC.com: Obviously, joining the treble champions in the last campaign is a challenge for anyone, whether be a trophy cabinet cleaner, players, technical and management staff. What are your short and long term goals with the club?
SM: I quickly need to understand the different functions of all my colleagues at the club. I need to roll-up my sleeves and get cracking with the club program.
We have two derbies back to back so there is a lot that requires my immediate attention.
OPFC.com: There are two schools of beliefs; some people believe management play an integral part in a clubs’ success, while some say it’s all in the players’ hands. What’s your honest opinion?
SM: I believe management plays a pivotal role in the success of the club. Management is responsible for creating a conducive environment for technical experts and the players to do their work without any hindrance. When the environment is conducive the players have an even better chance to do well in the field of play.
OPFC.com: In closing, what’s your message to the Ghost?
SM: I trust that my experience and the knowledge in football administration will be an add-on to what is already a successful club administration. Expectations at the Club are very high and rightly so it's my challenge and my colleagues’ challenge to live up to that expectation.
OPFC.com: Mr Mazingiza, thanks for granting us this interview and giving the supporters an opportunity to know you better. We wish you a wonderful stay at the club.
SM: Once and Always, Bhaka Juju !!!