Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic has recalled how he and his Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Pitso Mosimane met in 2006 on the latter’s mission to bring a goalkeeper to South Africa.
The then SuperSport United coach, Mosimane and CEO Stan Matthews made the trip to Tanzania to agree terms with Denis Onyango and were met with hostility by the locals – sharing an experience of a lifetime.
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“I don’t think my brother Pitso would be celebrating what he is today if it wasn’t for this gentlemen,” Sredojevic, pointing at Matthews, told the Siya crew.
Onyango eventually signed for Matsatsantsa in 2006 before moving to Black Aces and later Sundowns in 2011.
Matthews explained that he and Mosimane were 'tear-gassed' in their hot pursuit of Onyango and striker Fikru Teferra, who initially joined Pirates that year and then SuperSport some 12 months later.
“We are warriors from many battles even before becoming opponents,” said Sredojevic. The Buccaneers mentor was Onyango’s coach at Ethiopian outfit Saint George at the time before his first spell at Pirates in 2006.
In January, the same Onyango was crowned Africa’s No.1 goalkeeper and named in the CAF Best XI alongside Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane.