Aces confirm Barker’s sacking, Sakala’s appointment

Clive Barker with Johnny Ferreira. (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images)

Mpumalanga Black Aces have confirmed that Clive Barker has been relieved of his coaching duties and that Jacob Sakala will replace him as head coach.

“Given recent disappointing results, club management held a meeting with head coach, Clive Barker, and after an amicable discussion it was agreed between the parties that Barker would step aside as head coach with immediate effect,” read a statement issued by the club on their official website.

“In yesterday’s frank discussions between Aces chairman Mario Morfou and Clive Barker, the recent results were discussed and the fact that Aces had collected only two of the last 21 points on offer, both parties agreed that a change had to be made.

“Current technical director, Jacob Sakala will immediately assume the caretaker head coach position and the experienced Calvin Marlin has been promoted to the goalkeeper coach position.

“It was also decided to replace Barker’s assistant coach and goalkeeper coach but all other technical members will remain in their positions. The club will meet with assistant coach Johnny Ferreira and keeper coach Ernest Aboukir early next week to discuss their future.”

Morfou revealed that the club has offered Barker a new role in the team.

“Clive Barker is both a terrific person and coach who we regard with the highest respect and we have offered him a new two-year role going forward. Sadly given the results not coming our way we were forced into changing the helm of the team,” said Morfou.

“We value Clive Barker and believe he has a more critical role to play to the benefit of Aces. Our academy and feeder PSL reserve Diski team as well as crucial scouting remains our future and we firmly believe that Barker will be best suited to head this role.”

Barker will immediately take 10 days leave but remain at the club, where he has built a good relationship with management and fans alike in a new management role with a greater emphasis on developing and nurturing the future talent at the club.

Meanwhile, Barker has accepted Aces’ decision to redeploy him.

“I feel it was a sensible decision by both parties. The results in the New Year have unfortunately not gone our way and we wish the incoming coach and his technical team all the best for the remainder of the season.

“I have no doubt that if the club continues to play the quality of football that they have served up over the past 18 months, they will survive this awkward period,” said Barker.

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