His under-study and lieutenant Zeca Marques has completed his apprenticeship at Moroka Swallows following four year’s as the club’s assistant coach.
“I don’t think it’s necessary for the ‘new broom to sweep clean’. It would not be wise for me to change the winning formula we worked so hard at. To be honest, there isn’t much to change, “ he said.
Marques has been handed the Dube Birds coaching job, which became vacant when Safa named Gordon Igesund as Bafana Bafana coach on Sunday. Igesund was given a two-year contract.
“The details of how long his contract will be at Swallows are still being worked out, but the chairman (Leon Prins) believes it is Zeca’s time and he has earned it,” said Swallows brand manager Siya Sangweni.
For the club’s players, who saw its fortunes turned around by Igesund in his second season after saving them from relegation on the last day of his first season in charge, having Marques as the new coach won’t be the same as having the man now tasked with lifting Bafana’s performances, but it comes close.
Marques has been in charge of Swallows before. In 2000 he saved the club from being relegated, finishing 15th at a time when the Premier Soccer League still had 18 teams.
The amiable coach spoke of how the club’s boss broke the news to him at the weekend.
“Prins said I had been patient and loyal and that he rewards such a character. He felt I have deserved it given I was part of last season’s success (Swallows finished second on the log, two points behind champions Orlando Pirates).”
At 50, Marques said he was delighted to lead the Birds, the only team to give him a chance at being the head coach in top-flight football.
And he is in no hurry to make wholesale changes in the new season, though Swallows have already made one signing in former Maritzburg United winger Felix Obada.
“I don’t think it’s necessary for the ‘new broom to sweep clean’. It would not be wise for me to change the winning formula we worked so hard at. To be honest, there isn’t much to change,” said the new coach.
Marques’s first Premiership match will be against Platinum Stars away next month. The Birds then host Ajax Cape Town and will be involved in a Soweto derby against Pirates in their third match of the season.
Swallows will also take part in the MTN8 and face AmaZulu in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Swallows will be unveiling latest Puma technical kit tomorrow in Rivonia.