Leal replaces Krol at Pirates

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Orlando Pirates chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza announced that Julio Cesar Leal will be replacing Ruud Krol as head coach of Orlando Pirates,

Premiership champions Orlando Pirates officially unveiled Brazilian Julio Cesar Leal as their new coach on Wednesday morning.

Leal, the brother of Bafana Bafana assistant coach Jaero, replaces Ruud Krol who completed his three year tenure at the club with a treble of trophies in the recently concluded season.

Leal, who signed a three-year contract with the Buccaneers, has previously coached AmaZulu and Moroka Swallows.

He helped the Birds lift the 2009 Nedbank Cup before he was dismissed by the club in a case that is still pending, with a court ruling set for next week.

Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza said Leal's coaching experience and his philosophy of employing an attractive brand of football fitted with the new direction Pirates were taking, breaking away from the rigid, structured style preferred by Krol.

"With his experience we hope that he will assist us with plans that we have set," Khoza said.

"The team should be playing the kind of football that rekindles the old Pirates culture.

"Of course, there are expectations with Pirates after we achieved what we achieved this past season. It's not easy to repeat a treble."

An anxious Leal said he was honoured to be a part of one of the South African football giants while noting the hard work that lay ahead, including a Caf Champions League sojourn next season.

"It is a huge honour to be announced at this point in time by the chairman," Leal said.

"I have been part of South African football since 2006.

"Knowing the history and tradition of most clubs in the country, I want Pirates to be a winning team playing beautiful football and improving the capacity of winning games and titles at the same time.

"With the structure of Pirates and the support of the chairman, we can go even further and do even better than before."

Khoza emphasised that Krol, who was never in line for a contract extension regardless of the team's success last season, would forever be "part of history" with the side.

"I'm happy that we were successful in the last season and Krol has an enhanced his CV," Khoza said.

"I want to congratulate him and the technical team on the wonderful work, but the contract that we signed stipulates that it was a three-year contract with non-provision of a renewal.

"My duty as the chairman is to not destabalise the technical staff and the team.

"I understood why there were questions asked about his contract situation but my mandate was to give the coach all the support until the final game of the season."

Leal will name his technical stuff next week, with Pirates also expected to announce the signing of new players and managerial personnel in the coming weeks.


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