Failed coach or not … let’s not forget just who Fadlu Davids is joining in African giants Raja Casablanca

Fadlu Davids has joined Raja Casablanca. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Fadlu Davids has joined Raja Casablanca. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Jun 27, 2023


Cape Town - The beautiful game, as soccer is known, has just unearthed another story of a failed coach enjoying a dramatic upturn in career fortunes.

A month ago, Maritzburg United head coach Fadlu Davids stood by helplessly as his DStv Premiership outfit was relegated. His 'Team of Choice' did not survive the PSL's promotion/relegation play-offs, even though they played against lower-tier opponents.

Afterwards, Davids poured out his anguish and said it was a low point in his life as Maritzburg were edged out of SA top-flight football for the first time in 15 years.

His boss at Maritzburg Farook Kadodia gave him an earful after he discovered that Davids was considering a change of clubs while he was guiding the team through the play-offs. Davids and his supporting technical staff were sacked.

A few weeks later, the jobless Davids lands a plum job with Moroccan giants Raja Club Athletic, three-time CAF Champions League winners.

It was an incredible turnaround in career fortunes, and it would have reminded South African footie fans of the Benni McCarthy story.

McCarthy was sacked at Cape Town City and AmaZulu because of poor results. Then out of the blue, he lands a mind-boggling gig at one of the world’s most famous clubs Manchester United.

On Sunday night. Raja Club Athletic broke the news on social media: “Let's all welcome our new coach assistant who just joined the team, Davids Fadluraghman.”

Raja Club Athletic, more popularly known as Raja Casablanca, recently appointed German Josef Zinnbauer as their head coach. A few days later, Zinnbauer told the club that he would like Davids to be his assistant.

The Zinnbauer – Davids partnership started at Orlando Pirates three seasons ago. The pair guided Pirates to the MTN8 championship.

A few weeks later, Zinnbauer was fired at Pirates, and Davids carried on as a co-coach until Spaniard Jose Riveiro was appointed.

After Davids joined the jobless ranks, Zinnbauer was appointed at Locomotive Moscow, a Russian Premier League club. Last August, Davids was appointed as Zinnbauer’s assistant in Russia.

The pair did not last long in Russia. After a short while, Zinnbauer was sacked, and the Cape Town-born Davids returned to South Africa.

A few weeks later, Davids was appointed head coach at Maritzburg, and his tenure ended in disaster as the ‘Team of Choice’ was relegated after a failed play-offs campaign.

This will be the third time that the Zinnbauer - Davids comes into play.

Raja finished fifth in the Moroccan Premier League (Botola Pro League) last season.

On his arrival at Raja, Davids will find former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Haashim Domingo there. The ‘Green Eagles’ as Raja is known, unveiled him a few days ago. The South African is Zinnbauer’s first signing in Morocco.

In the next few weeks, Davids will also cross paths with fellow South African coach Pitso Mosimane in the Arab Club Champions Cup. This competition features 37 teams from the Asian Football Confederation and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Raja Casablanca, the reigning Arab Club Champions Cup title-holders, will play Mosimane's club Al Wahda FC in early August.