Can Igesund work his magic at Highlands Park?

Gordon Igesund was appointed Premiership newcomers Highlands Park's coach - his 10th club in the country’s elite league. Here, The Star looks back at his record and concludes that there’s a 50/50 chance he could produce a miracle, or flop, in a big way with the Lions of the North.

In what remains the biggest shock success of the Premiership era, Igesund took the unfancied Mighty Maulers to the inaugural PSL title by a massive eight points ahead of second-placed Chiefs. He kept them in the top five, two fourth positions plus fifth spot, until he left - great job.

Gordon Igesund, coach of Highlands Park. Photo: Samuel Shivambu. Credit: BackpagePix

His arrival at the Team of Choice was a bit of shock although some thought he could do for the KZN side what he did for Manning Rangers. It wasn’t to be though, Igesund struggling to get the team firing and he left only to return seasons later for yet another fruitless short-lived campaign.

Next up for Igesund were defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns and he helped the Brazilians hold on to their title. He won the championship by a massive 10 points ahead of Silver Stars. He couldn’t defend the gong the following season though and left.

Having lasted just a season at Pirates, he joined the People’s Team where he led a team highly dependent on veteran campaigners. He remarkably won a third league title and this time, unlike at Pirates where they beat Chiefs by one point, at a canter - five points ahead of SuperSport.

The Birds were looking good for relegation when Igesund came in and saved the club from the chop. If that was not enough he turned them into championship contenders to the extent they were still in the running on the final day of the season only to lose out to Pirates. He got players considered over the hill to deliver.

Would he succeed at a big club? That was the burning question when Igesund joined the Buccaneers. The answer was an emphatic yes. Igesund proved his worth by not only winning the championship by taking Pirates to two cup finals, winning the BP Top 8; and losing the Rothmans Cup.

This is no doubt an episode in his illustrious career Igesund would rather forget. Taking over after David Duncan some time into the season did so little even we can barely remember his time at Ea lla Koto.

He did the unthinkable and crossed floors over to the enemy. And things did not turn out so rosy at the Urban Warriors where for the first time he had to work with young players. He lost the inaugural Absa Cup in the final to Santos and finished just above the relegation spot. But things got better in the next seasons.

Matsatsantsa brought Igesund in to replace Cavin Johnson midway through the season. When he won the Telkom Knockout, hope sprang eternal that he would deliver the championship in the new season. But it wasn’t to be as SuperSport huffed and puffed to mediocre results and Igesund was shown the door.

Igesund’s clubs:

Manning Rangers


Maritzburg United


Mamelodi Sundowns




Moroka Swallows


Orlando Pirates


Free State Stars


Ajax Cape Town


Supersport United


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