Why Ertugral joined Ajax after undertaking not to work in SA again

17 February 2018 - 14:39
By Marc Strydom
Muhsin Ertugral. File photo
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix Muhsin Ertugral. File photo

Muhsin Ertugral said his close relationship with Ajax Cape Town‚ and seeing the club’s relegation struggles‚ persuaded him to backtrack on a previous undertaking to not work again in South Africa for good.

Ertugral returned to Ajax‚ who he had coached in three previous stints‚ and South African football when he took the job at the Urban Warriors‚ replacing Stanley Menzo‚ with the club battling in second-last place in December.

This was a turnaround on the undertaking not to work in South Africa again when Ertugral left Orlando Pirates in peculiar circumstances‚ resigning via a late-night email to Bucs chairman Irvin Khoza after a 6-1 league thrashing against SuperSport United in November 2016.

“I think to be four times with a club‚ that shows‚ not only from the club side but from the coaching side‚ that there is something that you love to be associated with‚” Ertugral said about his return to Ajax.

“I think we have had major success every time.

“Yes‚ I was going for good and there were a few very interesting patterns.

“I wanted to stay for the World Cup‚ because I will again be on the committee there.

“But obviously‚ seeing the club (and Ajax’s situation)‚ for me there was no think about coming to help.

“Tricky or not‚ I think I have enough experience to lift the team and help the team. So we had a chat with the chairman (Ari Efstathiou) – and I was very happy that we get along with each other – to try to find solutions on how we are going to save the club.

“Ajax‚ as a breeding ground for young players‚ is‚ I think‚ very important for South African football.

“And I didn’t think one second. I was actually here on holidays‚ relaxing a bit‚ and I was watching an Ajax game.

“And for me it was never a question to be involved.”

Ajax‚ still in second-last‚ meet Lamontville Golden Arrows next at Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday‚ February 25.