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Barreto heads for Rangers

Colleen Tafireyi

FORMER Warriors head coach Roy Barreto, who has called off his marriage with reigning South African Premier League champions Orlando Pirates following the team’s continuous bad run in both l

eague and cup campaigns, is headed for Manning Rangers.

Affectionately known by the Pirates legion of fans as Mr Cigarette, Bar-reto is understood to be on his way to the Durban-based side, ironically theteam that dealt the final blow to his strained relations with the Bucaneers.

Barreto, who has been under fire from Pirates’ demanding followers, threw in the towel after his side crushed out of the Coca Cola Cup first round at the hands of Manning Rangers last weekend.

Pirates Club president and major shareholder Irvin “The Duke” Khoza issued a press statement on Monday confirming the experienced coach’s departure from the popular Soweto outfit.

“This morning, on my arrival back from national duty overseas, I attended an emergency meeting where the head coach, Mr Roy Barreto expressed his intention to terminate his contract with Orlando Pirates Football Club,” said Khoza. “He said the conditions have deteriorated to the point where he feels he cannot discharge his duties properly. It has therefore been agreed that the contract between Mr Barreto and Orlando Pirates Football Club be terminated with immediate effect.”

The Bucaneers president, how-ever, saluted Barreto for his contribution to the club.

“I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Mr Barreto for the contribution he made to Orlando Pirates Football Club, especially winning of the league championship in the 2002/2003 season. I would further like to wish Mr Barreto well in his future endeavours.”

Sources revealed this week that Manning Rangers immediately approched Barreto and negotiations started. The premiership giants are understood to have offered the veteran mentor a lucrative deal and according to insiders, “nothing could stop the deal from sailing through”.

Although having crossed paths with the Bucaneers’ restless fans, Barreto leaves the champions a highly-respected man. Irvin said Pirates and Barreto agreed that they would not divulge the details of the settlement to the media or any third party.

“The parties agreed furthermore that we will not comment on this agreement or any affairs of the club in the media or to any third party,” he said.

The South African soccer strongman also said youth development coach Augusto Palacios, once attached to Spanish giants Real Madrid, will be in charge on an interim basis as he searches for a replacement.

Barreto joins a long list of successful coaches who failed to last two seasons at the Bucaneers even after leading the club to title glory.

Other coaches who left the Soweto-based popular side in the last couple of years include Gordon Igesund who is now at Ajax Cape Town and Victor Bonkarenko, currently with the Mozambique national team.

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