Former Santos and Bay United coach David Bright has revealed that former Botswana President Ian Khama once offered him a job at his farm.
At the time, Khama, who was Commander of the Botswana Defence Forces, was patron of army side Mogoditshane Fighters and Bright was head coach.
According to the Botswana Gazette, Khama asked Bright: “Major David Bright, what will make you stay and coach at Mogoditshane Fighters?”
Bright asked for P10,000, which Khama thought was too much at the time. “That’s too much, why can’t you go and work at my farm in Oodi, since you like farming and coach at the same time?”
The outspoken gaffer emphatically declined the offer. “Never! I can’t be reduced to that; I’m a coach and my dream is to coach in South Africa someday.”
Bright’s dream came true when he was appointed Santos coach in 2007 before going to Bay United, Polokwane City and lastly Black Leopards. By the end of the 2007/08 season, he managed to move Santos from position 14 in January of 2008 to position three at the end of that season.
Bright, who was on a two-year contract, revealed his initial monthly salary was R20,000 before tax, which was the lowest by any coach in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
His first game in charge of the Cape Town outfit ended in an embarrassing 4-0 loss at the hands of Free State Stars. Thereafter, the team went on a ten-match unbeaten run.
Bright disclosed that during that winning streak his salary was increased by R5,000 to R25,000.
His next job in South Africa was with Bay United where he earned a monthly salary of R45,000, while driving around in a VW 2.0 Litre Passat.
The candid Botswana coach’s stint in South Africa ended unceremoniously after he publicly lambasted Black Leopards owner David Thidiela for interfering in team selection.
Following a 3-2 loss against Mbombela United after throwing a 2-0 lead, a fuming Bright revealed shortly after the game that the team’s defeat was caused by coaching interference.
“I don’t care whether my job is safe or not, I’m a human being. Even if they fire me, I will see what I have to do. I am making a stand. I can tell everybody what is happening. I’m a very experienced coach and have been in football for a very long time. What is happening here is very unusual,” he said at the time.
His most recent coaching stint was with the Botswana national team, but he was fired in February last year after he failed to guide the Zebras to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
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By Mthokozisi Dube