Pirates message from Frickleton


Former Orlando Pirates coach Joe Frickleton, who led the team to the 1995 African Champions Cup Final against Asec Abidjan, tells KickOff.com that he is happy to see the Buccaneers reach yet another milestone.

The Scotsman started his coaching career with Highlands Park in 1974, and went on to work for Lusitano and Kaizer Chiefs.

In 1995 he took over the reins at Pirates midway through the season from Mike Makaab, and his first Champions Cup match was a quarter-final tie against Mbilinga from Gabon. 

Frickleton stepped down after the Final, first leg, where Pirates drew 2-2 at home against Abidjan due to behind-the-scene problems, and caretaker coach Ronald Mkandawire oversaw the second leg.

KickOff.com’s Zola Doda tracked Frickleton down in Cape Town, and this is what he had to say:

To the Orlando Pirates family.

I was happy to watch the team qualify for the CAF Champions League Final for the first time since 1995 and I want to send my best wishes to the coaching stuff and management of the team.

As someone who coached the team before I always want them to do well.

When I look back in 1995, which was a very, very long time ago, I can say it was one of my best moments in my coaching career. That moment was also special because Orlando Pirates achieved that just a few years after this country were re-admitted to international football. And that was truly remarkable. 

Like Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates is a club with a lot of tradition and when the players put on that jersey they take a lot of pride because they know what it means and what is expected from them.

When I coached the team the players worked very hard under very difficult circumstances. We have a lot of  not so good memories  about travelling to Africa. Those were difficult times and we were up against it. Teams made it difficult for us but the players knew before we even travelled. 

We went there with the attitude of trying to win matches, nothing else. I always told my players ‘let’s be the first ones on the ball and let’s attack the opposition and we did that. 

But I was also lucky that I had one hell of a good defence. Through that solid defence we controlled a lot of matches and my midfield had very experienced players.

Up front I had Jerry Sikhosana who was one hell of a good player and didn’t take any nonsense from defenders. 

Those bunch of players worked hard for each other. But unfortunately after we drew 2-2 at home I experienced a lot of problems with the administration of the team which led me to leave the team before the second leg Final. 

And when it’s time to go then it’s time to go no matter what the circumstances are. I left the team but I watched when they played the second leg in Abidjan and I was happy to see them win.

I want this Pirates team to win this Final and I will be watching them on TV supporting them. I also want Kaizer Chiefs to do well next as well because I also worked with them. 

Best wishes,

Joe Frickleton.