Gordon Igesund and Highlands Park have parted ways. The news broke in the local football fraternity on the weekend with club director, Sinky Mnisi, confirming the news.
Mnisi told the Siya crew on Sunday, “Yes, we have parted ways with Gordon Igesund and Less Grobler will be in charge for the remaining four games.”
The timing of the decision came at somewhat of surprise considering that the club has only got four games left to play this season and are entrenched in a relegation battle with no less than six other clubs. There are six clubs separated by only four points, in what is one of the tightest relegation battles in recent years.
In three of Park’s final four games of the season, they face opposition that are fighting to avoid relegation - those clubs being Platinum Stars, Chippa United and Baroka FC. They do face Mamelodi Sundowns on the final day of the season, in the fourth of the four games, though the team would have wanted to secure their PSL status by that stage.
Following the news of Igesund’s departure, the crew spoke to club director Brad Kaftel, who explained why the decision was taken. Kaftel praised Igesund for the team’s progression under his mentorship, while indicating that Park are hoping to change their luck around.
Kaftel explained, “Yes, it’s sad but we have parted ways. Look Gordon is a fantastic person and a fantastic coach, his training sessions were top class and without a doubt he took the team and the club to another level. The only problem has been bad luck, Gordon has just been unlucky.
“So many games we played we dropped points through bad luck. For example, we were brilliant against (Orlando) Pirates and (Bloemfontein) Celtic, but luck evaded us. Plain and simple, Gordon has just been unlucky.
“Now with three weeks to go and only four games, we have to do something.This is a three week decision. We are hoping that by making a change our luck will change.”
The Siya crew then spoke to Coach Igesund, who was shocked by the club’ decision. Indications are that Igesund had planned to pick up points against the opposition in the team’s final games of the campaign.
“I am shocked at the decision, it was unexpected as Highlands Park are on track. As a professional team we had planned our season, on which games we would pick up our points up from. We were on track with our plan and only one point off the tally we had marked out at this stage.
He went on, “We had been prepared and I have absolutely no doubt that I would have saved the team from relegation, and still do hope and wish that Highlands Park can avoid relegation.
Igesund concluded, “Highlands Park has made the decision and I do respect it, and I wish the team all of the best for the rest of the season.”