The Coaches Corner

Gordon Igesund is the Manager-Coach of Manning Rangers. A coach with a prolific track record that speaks for itself - Gordons articles (courtesy of The Mercury) and his exclusive views on Rangers, South African soccer and general talk will appear weekly in this column.





An interview with Gordon Igesund, is conducted every week on topics ranging from the previous weeks game, to soccer in general. If you wish to pose a question to the coach, please send an email to

D.N : The last couple of games have seen some spirited performances from the guys, but the one thing that seems to be lacking is the final finishing touch.
Yes, but that is to be expected because remember the squad this season is almost a completely new one and the guys still have get that sense of finding each other. We were hampered by the late arrival of our foreign contigent due to their work permit problems. But everything is going according to plan, the guys are moulding into a team much better but the final finishing touches are coming right slowly.

D.N : You must have been pleased with the performances of Regan Stuart following the Classic game ?
Yes, very, he was understandably nervous in the beginning being the first game that he has started for Rangers this season but he adapted well and did everything I could have asked for him running around the park in attack and defensive. This is a good sign for the future, and he can only improve from here.

D.N : Shakes Kungwane however seems to have fallen out of the team after 5 consecutive starts for Rangers ?
Yes, he was looking extremely jaded in those games and I believe it was simply a case of him trying to hard. Remember, he came to us massively overweight and he underwent an intensive weight loss program to get back to playing weight. Coming down from 96kg to 80kg is a huge improvement, but you have to realise that you cannot lose weight and train for fitness at the same time. Losing weight as quickly as Shakes was doing basically means overcoming a pain barrier because he trained really hard in a short space of time. It was too much of him asking of himself to go out there and perform every week - because, in losing that weight, he was tiring by overtraining and looking back on his last couple of performances, he just seemed to run out of steam in the match.

D.N : The critics will probably deliver a star-studded report on Rangers performance after todays game - a calculated 1st half and a devastating 2nd half blitz ...
Yes, that will be good for a change. The past couple of weeks all sorts of reports have been coming up. I will say it again, its ludicrous to compare us to the other big clubs in South Africa, simply because on terms you just cannot, it is an uneven scale. We donot compete on the same resource levels as other clubs do. It is ironical sometimes, that even when we're lying 3rd in the League we're regarded as being "in a slump" .Instead of always trying to shoot us down, view everything in context and then comment.

D.N : Updating the Rangers statistics the other day I noticed that your terms at certain clubs co-incided with the periods that some current players spent at those clubs and now they're at Rangers ? Did you go out looking for them?
I would say that, yes. One also has to bear in mind that I have to go out and look for players that fall into the budget allocated to me for the season. But its a common trait that some players prefer certain coaches because they perform well under them and their best playing qualities are brought out. Obviously, if I believe that a certain player can do the job for me then I will go out looking for him and bring him to the club. That some players have expressed a desire to play under me I think is flattering, but in the end it boils down to mutual respect and trust.

D.N : The recent turn of events on the Bafana-Bafana performances and the subsequent falling out of favour of national coach Trott Moloto seems to have a ripple effect on everyone - moreso, you Gordon, considering the past turn of events. Does it affect you ?
In a way it does, but what annoys me that reporters are always phoning me up asking about the national side fortunes and Trott Moloto. Look, everyone knows what happened during that episode and I donot like to be drawn into the politics of the whole saga.

D.N : The recently formed Players Union seems to be finally getting off the ground and getting some pretty good clout, having successfully resolved the John Moeti case with Orlando Pirates. How much do you agree with the formation of such a body seeing that you having been a former player, and now a professional coach having seen both sides of the divide ?
I think its a good thing for the players as they will have a body that will stand up for their rights if they are infringed. However, the Union will have to have clear ethics as to the way they operate and pursue matters. Being a Professional Football League, the onus is on entertainment to the paying public and matters should not be disrupted for the want of nothing better to do. By saying that, I mean, that the Union should only step in when a player goes to them with a problem if he believes his rights are being infringed. The Union, should not try to step into matters when there is no complaint and seek solutions where there is none.

D.N : Looking ahead to the game Rothmans Cup Quarterfinal fixture against Classic this Saturday, do you think they're going to be even more wary against us at Makhulong ?
I think after the PSL fixture in which they got a big shock they will be definately more wary, and may have one or two surprise players whom we have'nt seen before waiting because they were also hit with injuries for that game. I expect them to come out full of fire as they have taken the previous loss as a dent against their pride and are sure to come out fighting.

D.N : You must be a particularly happy coach, because for once you have a full strength side to choose from for the first time this season ?
Yes, I am quite happy that I have all my players to choose from. Solomuzi Ndimande is back from suspension and Liswa Nduti has recovered from the knock that he took against Classic in the PSL fixture.

D.N : In fact, now you will have a particular problem with the foreigner rule as only 3 may be on the field at any one time ?
Yes, in a way I do, but it does not always boil down to that as the squad gets selected solely on merit. With the way that Kerryn Jordan and Gilbert Mushanghazike have been playing in the last couple of games its going to be difficult for him to force his way back into the squad. The same applies to Liswa Nduti, as Antonio Trigo has been a revelation every time he has taken to the field.

D.N : While on the subject of players - Bruce Ramokadi seems to have been an inspired selection in the midfield ?
He has indeed, sometimes it takes decisions like these that turn a players career around and Bruce has been absolutely superb and revels in the midfield where he gets stuck into the action as well gets more of the ball than he would have had as striker. Its only a matter of time, if he keeps up his current form, that he will get a national call up.

D.N : There has been plenty of critiscism about the Makhulong Stadium from all the sides that have visited there. Your views on this ?
Well, the pitch is a bit bumpy and not conducive to ground passes as it bobbles up at the last moment - and the other thing that probably concerns me the most is the proximity of the crowd to the pitch as they sit only 3m away from the touch line. With this in mind it is essential that there are neutral match officials as in an intimidating atmosphere as the Makhulong Stadium can create on a full match day it is imperative that match officials are totally impartial.

  • Read the Previous Weeks Interview with Gordon Igesund
    (20/03/1999) ---- (25/04/1999) ---- (20/08/1999) ---- (02/09/1999)

    The Gordon Igesund Column
    1st April 1999

    Duplicated courtesy of The Mercury (Natal Newspapers)

    I love the Maulers - and I'm not going

    Lately, everywhere I go, people ask me the same thing; am I going to stay with Manning Rangers? Now is your chance to hear it directly from the horses mouth - so they say.

    The facts are :

  • I have a valid contract with the club that still has a number of years to run and,
  • I have been approached by a number of clubs, who are interested in securing my services for the next season.

    Those then, are the facts. But as is usually the case, the facts tell only half the story. Most importantly, I want everybody to know that the only thing that is on my mind - and the minds of my players - is that we want to win the PSL championship this season.

    I know that we have suffered a slight setback, but as I said on TV, there are still quite a few games to go and although it will be difficult to win, we will all give it our best. When I arrived at the Mighty Maulers, the club had not enjoyed much success in the professional ranks, nor did I come with a string of successes in the top flight behind me. Together, all of that changed. Rangers established themselves as one of the top clubs in the country and reputation grew at the same time.

    At Rangers I found the best possible conditions any coach can work under. I have a chairman, who has always given me 100% backing yet at the same time lets me work without any interference. Of course, I am flattered that other clubs are interested in my services and there comes a time in any job, when ones needs to go for new challenges. At that counts for both the coach and the team. Just as much as a coach needs new challenges, a team needs a new challenge and they might find that in a new coach.

    My chairman, Kaycee Reddy is on record as having said that he will not stand in my way. I know that is the truth. As I have said above, I have only the utmost respect for Kaycee and I can assure him that he is always guaranteed of that, regardless of which club that I am at. In all my time in professional football, I have never before come across an official who is so dedicated to his club. And the only reason why Kaycee does it, is his love for the Mighty Maulers. He is really the best chairman any coach can wish for and his being prepared to not stand in my way, is a further indication of this.

    However, I once again want to assure him that I am a loyal club man and as coach of Rangers, my only goal is to achieve success with the club. That is the only thing on my mind and I will try everything in my power to do as well with Rangers that I can. The time to look at the new season is only once this one is over.

  • [ 20/03/1999 Mercury Column ]