WEDSON Nyirenda and Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic will put their friendship aside when Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates clash in the Telkom Knockout final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (6pm).
Bakgaga head coach Nyirenda and Bucs’ Sredojevic have been friends for years but that will be temporarily put on ice.
Nyirenda said he knew Micho from when he was still Zambia’s head coach and the Bucs coach managed Uganda’s national team.
“I used to play friendlies against his national team,” Nyirenda said yesterday.
“We got to know each other and became friends. We also used to meet in Spain, as he is a good friend of someone I know. This is how we became close. But on Saturday we have to put that aside for 90 minutes or until the end of the game.
“This is different compared to when I was still playing for Chiefs and we were set to play against Pirates in the Soweto derby.
“This time I am the coach and we have to go all out to try and win this competition. Pirates have won many trophies and we haven’t. I want to make history for Baroka and knowing Micho, it is not going to be easy.”
Neither coach has won a major trophy for his team.
But there will be more pressure on the Serbian mentor to win something for their fans, seeing that he is in his second stint with Pirates.
The last time Sredojevic was in charge of the Buccaneers was back in 2006.
As for Nyirenda, merely helping Baroka reach their first final in the club’s history is already an achievement.
The Bakgaga coach said his players’ excitement ahead of this final had given him a healthy headache.
He does not know who to choose, as everyone has raised his hand to be considered for this important clash.
“They are very excited and all of them are working hard at training, fighting to play in this historic game for the club,” said the 54-year-old.