Prior to the 2022–2023 season, the Buccaneers made significant changes to their roster and technical staff, but a club legend has his reservations.
Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Steve Lekoelea is not impressed by the signing of defenders Tapelo Xoki and Nkosinathi Sibisi as well as the appointment of Jose Riveiro as the new head coach.
The Buccaneers parted ways with the seasoned pair of Thulani Hlatshwayo and Ntsikelelo Nyauza while also bringing in center backs Xoki from AmaZulu and Sibisi from Golden Arrows.
Then, on Saturday, they unexpectedly named Riveiro, a Spaniard, as their new head coach, demoting Mandla Ncikazi to assistant coach.
Lekoelea stated to Soccer Laduma, "The issue with players that come from little teams is that they tend to struggle to acclimate at major teams because they don't trust in themselves.
"While some may feel they have made it, I would caution them against ever changing their outlook simply because they are at Pirates. Stay true to yourself and be prepared to fight.
Lekoelea talks on the new coach, who joins as a little-known, after describing Xoki and Sibisi as players coming from "minor teams."
Riveiro has only worked as a touchline official in Finland since 2014, and he has never previously coached in Africa.
Following the departure of German Josef Zinnbauer at the beginning of the previous season, he represents Pirates' return to the European market for a head coach.
Lekoelea continued, "We need a coach that will comprehend the structure and culture of the club.
"The Orlando Pirates are an attacking team. With South African players and European managers who didn't understand the club, we had gotten into arguments in the past.
His current Pirates assistant coach Sergio Almenara and fitness instructor Miguel Bellver Esteve worked with Riveiro at his previous position as head coach of the Finnish team FC Inter Turku.
He assumes leadership at Pirates, where the team has already added forwards Evidence Makgopa and Bienvenue Eva Nga
Azola Matrose, a teenager who is thought to be staying at Chippa United on loan, and midfielder Miguel Timm are also included.
After bringing in the new players, in addition to Hlatshwayo and Nyauza, Pirates also let go of goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, Frank Mhango, Thabang Monare, Kwanda Mngonyama, Abel Mabaso, Justice Chabalala, and Elson Sithole.
Sandilands is "currently in conversation with management for another role at the club," according to the club.
Sandilands was anticipated to be named goalie coach following Sjoerd Woudenberg's departure last Thursday until Damons' arrival.
Riveiro will be in charge of assisting Pirates win their first league championship since the 2011–12 campaign and their first continental prize since the 1996 Caf Super Cup.
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Orlando Pirates legend Lekoelea explains ‘problem’ with Xoki, Sibisi signings & Riveiro appointment | Goal.com South Africa" https://www.goal.com/en-za/news/orlando-pirates-legend-lekoelea-explains-problem-with-xoki-sibisi-signings-and-riveiro-appointment/blt1bef4fc7c5524e3e
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