Kosta Papic returns to Black Leopards

Kosta Papic returns to Black Leopards after Hearts of Oak exit. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix.

“He is not the head coach of the side but he is the technical manager and his responsibility stretches throughout the team,” said Thidiela at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Black Leopards have bolstered their technical team by adding experienced coach and former mentor Kosta Papic to their ranks, with the Serbian set to serve as the club’s technical manager.

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Leopards General Manager Chief Thidiela explained the role of the ‘young’ coaches hired by his side in their technical team. Employing a Mamelodi Sundowns-like coaching style, Thidiela repeatedly stated that Papic will not be the only one making decisions in the first team.

“His immediate responsibility is to help the team survive,” said the Leopards GM.

“He is not the head coach of the side but he is the technical manager and his responsibility stretches throughout the club – after that he needs to attend meetings and take what is said in those meetings he will have with the technical team onto the field,” continued Thidiela.

“He will be responsible for helping with team selection and he will sit on the bench with the young coaches during our games.”

Papic was previously with Hearts of Oak in Ghana for his second stint with the side but it ended on a sour note once again. Papic was sacked three months into his job as the side’s head coach with the club pointing to poor performances for their decision.

The former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates coach says his unceremonious sacking in Ghana led to his return to South Africa. Papic is confident he can help Leopards survive relegation once again.

“One has to operate in a professional club, we have to start with our program. And I believe we can do it,” said Papic.

One of the coaches appointed by Leopards in recent times is former Chippa United coach Lehlohonolo Seema who is one of the five technical team members at Lidoda Duvha. The addition of Papic as a technical manager doesn’t spell the end of the road for Seema or anyone who was already in the technical team.

Thidiela says the technical staff is expected to groom players at the development level that can feature for the senior side, but stressed it was important for the first team to be competitive so they could survive the relegation chop.

Having left his previous club due to the club’s poor performance under his command, Seema is confident he won’t be kicked out at Leopards should the team fail to move up the DStv Premiership .

“I am not afraid that I could be fired. As Chief said there is no one person responsible for the team. We are all responsible for the results and we should all try and help the team,” said Seema.

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