Buckley and Fernandez bring world of experience to Maritzburg‚ says Tinkler
Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler has confidence in the two former Bafana Bafana players — attacking midfielder Delron Buckley and goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez — he’s strengthened his technical team with ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.
Tinkler was speaking about the duo ahead of the Team of Choice meeting Kaizer Chiefs in the quarterfinals of the MTN8 at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.
A former formidable Bafana defensive midfielder in his own right‚ Tinkler said Buckley and Fernandez’s remarkable experience gained in their playing days bodes well for what they can add to the Maritzburg team that performed above expectations to finish seventh on the PSL log last season.
“Ja‚ you know the chairman [Farook Kadodia] and myself at the beginning of last season‚ we had a discussion around the potential of bringing Delron Buckley in as part of the technical team‚” said Tinkler.
“It was because Delron can bring a lot of his experience and he can pass it on, not only to the PSL players but also to the MultiChoice Diski team.
“So we were always looking to strengthen the technical team. It was a bit of no-brainer for us to bring in Delron Buckley. He helps in the technical and tactical plan that I prepare.
“You know the knowledge that he has and can pass on to the strikers is extremely valuable.
“I also use Vincent [Kobola‚ United’s other assistant] because of his knowledge as a former defender to pass it on to the central defenders and obviously the fullbacks.
“So it was important that we got someone else that could help us in terms of the offensive and also in the development.
“Our previous goalkeeper-coach Ricardo Goncalves spent four months here in lockdown and he has a young family in Portugal‚ two kids‚ and the man needed to go back home.
“So unfortunately we needed to replace him and Rowen was available and he’s someone I knew because we’ve worked together at Orlando Pirates. So it was a no-brainer to also bring in Rowen.
“Both are ex-Bafana Bafana players and both are players that played internationally‚ played in Germany. So I think they’ve got a lot of experience and I think there’s a lot of respect that the players will obviously show the two of them.”
While Tinkler admitted this week that the club are set to lose No. 1 goalkeeper Richard Ofori to Orlando Pirates‚ Maritzburg did reveal two new players in midfielder Sibusiso Hlubi and centreback Riyaaz Ismail to add to former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Ali Meza.
Sibusiso Ntshangase and Tebogo Tlolane‚ who were both on loan to the Team of Choice last season‚ will also be part of Tinkler’s team again in the coming season.