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One on One with Muhsin Ertugral

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2016 - 15:03

Ertugral arrives at the Club with a reputation of being a master tactician and no-nonsense Coach but deep down he is an individual who wants nothing but the best for his players.

Today, the man who led Mpumalanga Black Aces to a season-best finish of fourth position, took charge of his first training session with his new players.

The session began with a player briefing where Ertugral set the tone of what is to come for pre-season and what he expects from the players for the rest of the 2016/17 campaign.

We caught up with Ertugral for what will be his first of many interviews with ( Coach. Welcome on board the Bucs ship and all of the very best for the season.

Muhsin Ertugral (ME): Oh thank you! It is great to be here and I too look forward to a wonderful journey. You are a Coach who has a great CV, having coached locally and in Europe. What were your initial thoughts when deciding to take up the challenge of joining Orlando Pirates?

ME: “I have mixed feelings about that actually. Firstly and foremost, let me just say that it is an honour and a privilege to be in the driving seat of a team of this magnitude.

“This is one of the top clubs in Africa for a number of reasons including the clubs extensive fan base, their history with this being the Club’s 80th anniversary and the fact that they are the only club to have lifted the CAF Champions League trophy in the Southern African region.

“Secondly I am also aware of the duties placed on my shoulders. I have coached in three continents, from the Turkish sides like Trabzonspor and Sivasspor, to the Austrian side SV Mattersburg and including the likes of Club Africain (Tunisia), Ismaily (Egyptian) as well as the National Team of Zaire in Africa.

“I believe I have acquired the necessary knowledge to handle the task of managing a team of this calibre.

“I know and understand the responsibility I have to carry as the Head Coach of this team. I find that exciting, because I know the steps that I have to take to make my stay a successful one, obviously it won’t be easy but I am comfortable enough to know what to expect.” What are your expectations of your Technical Team?

ME: “I have met up with my technical team and I think they are capable professionals which complements the status of the club and my demands.

“Today’s football is about incorporating a number of things including the learnings of sports science.

“We also have capable and qualified staff in the rehabilitation department and actually the entire support staff which is inclusive of the doctors, physiotherapists, all the scientists and Elsa Storm who will be a great addition.

“You are as strong as your supportive team, this is not a one man show. This is a professional outfit, I found that everything is already in place at Pirates because I am surrounded by good people and we will archive a lot as a team.” You met your new players today. How did it go?

ME: “Today’s Coaching job is no longer about just being on the field which was the case 20 years ago. Today the job of the Coach is more like that of a CEO and I see the players as individual companies. My task is to bring all these companies together like you would in the stock exchange with the intention of creating one joint venture.

“Another factor to consider is that this is a multi-cultural environment and obviously the good thing is that I have been around South Africa long enough to understand that one has to consider not only the football background but also the different cultural and social backgrounds, as well as the different regional and social aspects of the players which will help my judgement and decision making.

“The meeting went well, I also think my message was well received. Obviously, there will be more of these sessions so that we can get everyone on the same page. The sooner we can do that the better. What are your aspirations for your tenure at Pirates?

ME: As a Coach you have to know that at a massive club like Orlando Pirates you have to play for silverware and anything else doesn’t matter. However what we need to look into, is how we can achieve sustaining the challenge of competing for everything that is on offer in a season. I think the quality of the players from the material we have makes it clear that we have a team that has potential.

“Secondly today’s football is not about individual brilliance but rather about how quickly you understand your patterns and organisation. These are the details we need to look into because we also have players who want to achieve which is part of the big club temperament. We need to also look at what is Orlando Pirates, the style of football that is associated with the club like for instance total football for Ajax Amsterdam. We therefore need to play our style because although it is important to be result orientated but it is equally important to play the type of football our people will be happy with.

“If I achieve these two things I will be happy.” That’s great Coach. Before we release you, is there anything you would like to say to the Ghost?

ME: “Sure I do. I would like to say that it is an honour for me to be part of this institution and they can be comforted by the fact that I come here with the intention to do all that is in my powers to uphold the name of Orlando Pirates and bring the necessary success that is associated with it. But obviously, all this can be achieved with everyone pulling in the same direction. With your support, nothing will be impossible.

“This is a massive club which enjoys massive support. People pin their hopes and aspirations to its success. This is something I understand and all I want to say is that we will do everything we can as the Technical Team to put smiles on their faces and make them proud to be associated with Pirates, I know what it means for them from the smallest to the biggest areas of SA and we will work extremely hard to make them happy and proud to be Orlando Pirates Supporters.” Thank you once again for your time Coach and all of the best

ME: Thank you!

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