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'I don’t follow the money‚' says Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer

13 January 2020 - 16:16 By Marc Strydom
Orlando Pirates German coach Josef Zinnbauer speaks to the media at Rand Stadium in the south of Johannesburg on January 13 2020.
Orlando Pirates German coach Josef Zinnbauer speaks to the media at Rand Stadium in the south of Johannesburg on January 13 2020.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Josef Zinnbauer has said that Orlando Pirates approached him to be their coach‚ in the first attempt at an explanation of how the Buccaneers and the German came into contact.

Zinnbauer said he did not “follow the money”‚ and had numerous other offers internationally‚ but went with a “good feeling” on South Africa and Pirates.

The ex-Hamburger SV and St Gallen coach revealed that he initially received a “call” from Pirates‚ or his agent.

However‚ whether through the coach’s broken English or not wanting to reveal too many details‚ he did not disclose too much more than that.

Zinnbauer faces a fourth assignment in charge of Bucs‚ and his toughest so far‚ against Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night (kickoff 7.30pm).

Bucs so far have not been open to providing details when approached with questions on how they came across the 49-year-old German‚ or vice versa.

Zinnbauer was asked to expand on that process at Pirates’ media day at their Rand Stadium training base on Monday.

He was initially vague when asked to explain the link‚ and details such as who facilitated the deal.

“We had a good meeting before I came to Pirates‚ and I signed my contract‚” he said.

“It was a very good feeling for me. The chairman [Irvin Khoza]‚ those guys made the club and constructed the club [explaining Pirates to Zinnbauer].

“It was very good for me. They had the right questions for me. I had a good feeling for this.”

Zinnbauer was pressed further on whether it was his “African representative” he referred to during the press conference who was the link to Bucs‚ and who it was that initiated the contract.

“I don’t know. I cannot say‚” he said.

The coach was asked if he got a call.

“I got a call. Yes. We have phones in Germany‚” he joked.

“We have emails‚ and ja.”

He continued: “No‚ my cellphone was ringing and I said‚ ‘Hi’. And they said‚ ‘Hi‚ I am from Pirates’.

“Yes‚ this was the normal way. My agent called me and said‚ ‘You can go to South Africa’. But six weeks before that I had another offer from Africa. But I said‚ ‘No‚ I won’t take this’.

“But Pirates is a good club. This was important for me. In the last seven months or so I have had 10 offers – from Cyprus‚ from Turkey‚ many countries.

“But I waited. And I had time. And I had a contract in Switzerland. It was easy for me.

“And then I had a good feeling. This was important for me. I was in Australia‚ and I did not have a good feeling for that. And then I had a good feeling that I could do good work.

“Like you maybe‚ you follow the money. But I don’t follow the money. Before I had offers where I could follow the money. But I have the time for this [Pirates].”

Zinnbauer coached the reserve teams of two Bundesliga clubs‚ Karslruher and Hamburger SV.

His top-flight experience came with six months at the helm of Hamburger in 2014 and 2015‚ and coaching St Gallen for two seasons in his last job in Switzerland from 2015 to 2017.