Who is Pirates new coach? Lack of topflight trophies first talking point for Josef Zinnbauer

10 December 2019 - 14:06 By Marc Strydom
Josef Zinnbauer has signed a contract to be at the helm of Orlando Pirates for three years.
Josef Zinnbauer has signed a contract to be at the helm of Orlando Pirates for three years.
Image: orlandopiratesfc.com

A conspicuous lack of trophies will be the first talking point for sceptical South African football fans when 49-year-old obscurely-known German Josef Zinnbauer takes charge of Orlando Pirates as their new head coach.

This especially given Pirates’ desire to reverse a period of now more than four and a half years without silverware since their last trophy in the Nedbank Cup in May 2014.

Zinnbauer’s highest-profile posting so far has been a six-and-a-half-month spell coaching Hamburger SV from September 2014 to being sacked in early March 2015.

He had been promoted from coaching Hamburger’s reserve‚ or under-23‚ team.

Before that Zinnbauer‚ who retired in 2005 from a playing career as a midfielder at various levels in Germany due to a cartilage injury‚ began his coaching career that year at fourth division VfB Oldenburg.

He coached the reserves of then-lower league Karlsruhe SC in 2012.

After his stint in the Bundesliga‚ Zinnbauer joined St Gallen – where late Bafana Bafana legends Phil Masinga and Sizwe Motaung both once played together in the mid-1990s – in Switzerland’s Super League in September 2015.

St Gallen finished seventh in the 10-team top-flight in 2015-16.

Zinnbauer‚ who arrived at the club with much hope and fanfare‚ impressing with his smooth-talking interviews and not afraid to hype his football‚ was fired near the end of the following‚ 2016-17 season‚ where there was no improvement from seventh.

As a player‚ Zinnbauer’s crowning achievement was a season in the Bundesliga with Karlsruhe in 1994-95‚ the campaign before South African striker Sean Dundee arrived at the club.

Zinnbauer was announced as Pirates' new coach on the club's social media accounts and official website on Tuesday.


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