Roger De Sa has insisted that there was no “mud-slinging” involved, after his long-standing coaching stint at BIDvest Wits was abruptly ended.
Wits confirmed late yesterday afternoon that they had “parted ways” with De Sa, who has coached the Clever Boys in nine of the past 11 seasons.
“Bidvest Wits would like to take this opportunity of thanking Roger de Sa for the many years of dedicated service to this club and wish him the very best in his future endeavours”, read a statement from the club’s new CEO José Ferreira.
The decision to remove De Sa does come rather out of the blue, even if the Clever Boys did endure a poor second half of last season, just about scrambling clear of the relegation zone.
But the former Bafana and Wits goalkeeper insisted yesterday that there was nothing acrimonious about his departure.
“There’s no mud-slinging,” he said. “When you are a coach it’s a question of when, not if. I’ve had a great time here ... it’s been unbelievable for me, with the players, as a CEO, as a coach. I think I’ve left behind a hell of a club, from what it was when I started.”
De Sa doubled up as CEO himself last season, but also insisted there was no issue between himself and Ferreira.
“José came in and works the way he wants to work, and made the decision that I am not the right guy for the club. You have to respect this,” he said.
De Sa first coached Wits from 2001-2005, winning the 2002/3 Coach-of-the-Season award after guiding them to third in the top flight. Wits were relegated, however, in 2005, and De Sa left for Santos, only to rejoin the Students in 2007. De Sa guided Wits to the Nedbank Cup title in 2010, but says he regards the many players he brought through the academy as his best achievement in his time at the club.
“Winning the Nedbank Cup is a highlight, but I think the development of players (is my best memory). We gave so many players a chance, I don’t know how many,” he said.
Ferreira added that Eric Tinkler and Ashley Makhanya would take over on an “interim” basis, “pending the appointment of a new technical team.”