Dutch coach Erol Akbay, who has had stints in his native Holland, Zimbabwe and South Africa, has paid glowing tribute to the local game, saying it is one the most exciting he has ever been involved in.
Akbay had a short stint with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila while they were in the first division, guiding them to two wins out of three before quitting over interference by the club’s supremo Masala Mulaudzi.
Akbay was on the bench for three games; 3-1 win over JDR Stars, 3-1 win over Royal Eagles and the 1-0 defeat by TS Sporting.
Despite only spending about 35 days at TTM, Akbay, who also coached Zimbabwean giants Highlanders, says the South African game is easily one of the best in Africa.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in South Africa although it was really short. I found the players quite adaptable and most of them can easily make it to Europe.
“Unfortunately, my stay at TTM was quite short, but it was one of the most exciting football periods of my career,” Akbay told FARPost from his Almelo base, in eastern Netherlands.
Akbay, nicknamed Mkabayi after the Isibaya actress during his Highlanders stint, has also coached Dutch sides HVV Hengelo, SV Twello, and KSV BWO.
“I prefer to play direct football, so I was a little surprised when they players at TTM quickly adapted to my style and it was working.
“Those players showed the quality and the people (in Limpopo) where really nice.
“It’s definitely a country I’d be keen to return to one day,” he added.
He remembers dribbling wizard Mboniseni Mbandlwa, Nhlanhla Mgaga, Wonderboy Makhubu and Phumelele Bhengu as some of the players that shone in that 2019 GladAfrica Championship campaign.
His most successful stint in Africa was in neighbouring Zimbabwe where he won the Chibuku Cup, ZNA Cup and the Independence Cup.
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By Mthokozisi Dube