Introducing Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs Carling Black Label Champion coaches Sifiso Jali Mahlangu and Philani Ndlovu

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snl24.com/kickoff had a chance to meet both coaches – Sifiso 'Jali' Mahlangu of Pirates and Philani Ndlovu of Chiefs – as they sucked in their new found celebrity status that would have them attend their respective teams’ final training sessions on Friday before going into the dressing room and sitting on the bench tomorrow.

Asked if he has ever played football, the rather reserved Mahlangu responds: “Yes, but I wasn’t really that good.

"They put me in as a second half substitute and then took me out again after just four minutes, so I guess maybe coaching could be a calling for me,” he chuckles as he talks exclusively to this website.

“All the same I am honoured to be associated with such a big game, being the Champion coach for the day is a privilege. After this opportunity I am really thinking about pursuing coaching.

"I know the job of a coach comes with great responsibility because you have to deal with different players with big egos and some of them are big headed as big players.

"Some of them are level headed, some of them shy so you got to be able to gather everything around them and just unite them as a team,” he adds while admitting he is not always at the stadium.

“I cannot say I go to the stadium every week but I do go whenever I can. The last derby that I attended (Tendai) Ndoro scored two goals in the Nedbank Cup and I am so hoping for the same.”

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Ndlovu, on the other hand, is a lively character with excitement written all over his face, and feels his club desperately needs to stop the Pirates dominance in this pre-season cup.

“I am very excited to be part and parcel of this big derby as a coach and not a fan," he says.

"I will be giving the instructions from the bench and getting the experience to meet my players on one on one basis which will be much closer than I have ever experienced.

"I have been supporting Chiefs since I was born and have never changed. Chiefs is a huge club and to be associated with this club in such a way is so amazing.

“Actually since I moved from Durban to Johannesburg in 2001 I have attended all the derbies. I also go to some of the other Chiefs games depending on my work schedule because I am very close to the stadium since I stay in Kibler Park.

"My Twitter handle, Facebook and Whatsapp have all not stopped buzzing with family and friends congratulating me. Even my former schoolmates and colleagues at work have all been supportive, it is actually amazing.

"However, they have made me aware of the pressure because Chiefs fans have been telling me that we must stop the Pirates dominance in this trophy.

"They have told me that Philani we have trust in you to deliver the trophy for us, the fans have been free in telling me what they want unlike with Steve Komphela who they cannot call or SMS.”  

Ndlovu also had the opportunity to meet his predecessor Sidney Molepo, who led AmaKhosi for last year's CBL Cup.

“I spoke to last year’s coach Sidney during my preparations last week and he gave me advice and told me about the whole experience and I am so looking forward to this,” concludes the Carnival City Casino floor manager.

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