South African National Soccer Team Manager
Former South African soccer player and legendary coach, Gordon Igesund currently manages the South African national soccer team, Bafana Bafana.
Born in Durban in 1956, Igesund started playing soccer from the age of 16, and consistently practiced his trade at the highest echelons of the sport, both in South Africa and Europe. He played professional soccer from 1972 to 1994 for local and international clubs, including Durban United, Durban City, Witbank Black Aces, AmaZulu, Umtata Bush Bucks and Leeds United. The pinnacle of his playing career was when he signed a five-year contract with leading Austrian club, Admira Wacker Mödling in 1980. During this time, Igesund was regarded as the top foreign player in the league and was selected for the foreign All Stars to play against the Austrians.
Igesund began his impressive coaching career in 1986. He was one of the first players in South African soccer history to double as a coach. He achieved national league title victories with D’Alberton Callies (1992) and African Wanderers (1994).
After retiring as a soccer player in 1994 to focus on coaching, he led four different top-flight teams to the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) championships.
In 1996, he joined Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Manning Rangers as head coach and led the team to the inaugural PSL title during the 1996/1997 season. Four years later, he led Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates, to first place in the championship. That same season, the team won the final in the BP Top 8 and were runners up in the Rothmans Cup Final.
The very next season, he famously led Cape Town’s Santos to a surprise PSL victory and to the semi-finals of the Coca Cola Cup. From 2002 to 2012, Igesund trained various clubs including Ajax Cape Town, Maritzburg United, Mamelodi Sundowns, and the Free State Stars. Widely celebrated as a distinguished tactician, he was recognised as PSL Coach of the Season in 2001 and again in 2012. In 2004, he was honoured with KICKOFF magazine’s Coach of the Decade Award in recognition of his long-standing career.
In June 2012, Igesund was appointed as coach for Bafana Bafana and is currently preparing the team to face FIFA World Cup 2014 hosts, Brazil in March this year.