Roger Sikhakhane, coach of Royal Eagles, pictured in February at the Nedbank Cup draw with Rushine de Reuck of Maritzburg United. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Royal Eagles head coach Roger Sikhakhane has passed away.

General Manager at the National First Division outfit, James Dlamini, confirmed the news on Saturday morning.

“Yes, it is true that Sikhakhane has passed away. We received the message from the family this morning. He was at the hospital at Empangeni. He was still part of Eagles. We were paying him every month,” Dlamini said.

Sikhakhane joined Eagles toward the end of last season and saved them from relegation. He was expected to challenge for honours this season.

He has been away for almost two months now after he had a minor operation.

His assistant coach, Kagisho Dikgacoi took over the reigns in his absence.

Sikhakhane was 42 years of age.

Two seasons ago, Sikhakhane helped promote Thanda Royal Zulu to top-flight football.

In 2011/12, Sikhakhane also propelled Chippa United to the Absa Premiership via the playoffs.

“It is a very sad moment for us and the players. He had big ambitions. We worked together very closely. I don’t know what to say at this point in time. I’m still shocked,” Dlamini explained.

Eagles were scheduled to face Maccabi FC today at 3.30pm at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban.


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