Skip to main content

Dutch coach joins Orlando Pirates technical team

Sjoerd Woudenberg

Orlando Pirates have bolstered their technical team with the appointment of Dutch goalkeeping coach Sjoerd Woudenberg ahead of the 2021-22 season.

The club's goalkeeping coach position has been vacant ever since the Buccaneers parted ways with Jyri Nieminen in December last year.

Veteran goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands has been filling the role on a temporary basis while the club looked for a permanent solution.

The 34-year-old coach, who holds a Uefa B Licence, has set his sights on making their goalkeeping department the best in South Africa,

"If you train every training session and goalkeeping session at the highest level, [the players] should adapt quickly to my way of working, the way I try to improve the goalkeepers," Woudenberg told the club's media.

"To be honest, if you look at the last week, how they have already made steps in their development, it won't be tough to reach the highest level, especially at a club like Pirates [where] you must be the best goalkeeper in the country, and that's what I want to reach with all of the goalkeepers.

"We have a tough pre-season but I think it is very good for the guys and, if you look at the squad, if you look at the goalkeepers, if you look at the technical team, it is top quality in every department and I'm happy to be here. 

"I think it's going to be very positive and I hope that they can show the things we are working on during the games. It's good that we have a tough pre-season with a lot of training sessions, but it's also a good opportunity for us to improve everything on each goalkeeper."

The Soweto giants current have five goalkeepers on their books, which includes Sandilands, Richard Ofori, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Kopano Thuntsane and Elson Sithole, respectively.

"Every goalkeeper is in a different phase of his career, we have two youngsters, three older goalkeepers, and I'm happy to help them all with their development still," he added.

"I know Orlando Pirates is the biggest club in South Africa and one of the biggest teams on the continent of Africa, and I think everybody wants to work for a big club likes this..."