The former coach of Moroka Swallows, Mitch D’ Avray has just sealed a two-
year contract with Bloemfontein Celtics, Siwelele sa Maselesele. Pule Lechesa managed to have an exclusive interview with him.
PE: I remember when I was a kid I used to read about you playing in an English football. Briefly, what would you say is the main difference between South Africa and English football?
Mitch D’ Avray: I do not know whether I am qualified to answer that question now because I have been Out of the country for sometime. I am still looking to see if there has been some changes and developments. Generally I think football in English has been fully professional for many-many years. I think just the level of professionalism is probably the biggest difference between England and South Africa .
PE: How would you describe yourself as a coach, are you strict disciplinarian or are you close to the players like Herry Rednapp in England ?
Mitch D’ Avray: (laughter) I do not think that I am one particular coach. I think I have little bit of everything in me. I want people who are hard workers. I do my job to the best of my ability always hundred percent. I expect the players to also do the same.
PE: What types of formations do you belief in? I mean like an extra defender or attacker.
Mitch D’ Avray: It is not the case of what I like. I am coming to Celtics and I am inheriting a squad of players. I would find the system that suits the players rather than the one that suits me as if I am the one that is playing the game. If I started the game and pick the player that can play a certain position that is different.
PE: What is your mandate as a coach. Do you think that the club can ever challenge for the premiership?
Mitch D’ Avray: I do not think that it will be in the first season. Obviously long term goal. The aim of the club must be a title chasing team. Celtics is potentially a very big club. But I think we are far away from it at the moment.
PE: Are you going to play most of your games at Seisa Ramabodu or you prefer playing in the city.
Mitch D’ Avray: We must play most of the games at Seisa Ramabodu. We must bring the games near the supporters.
PE: I am sure you realise that Celtics fans are the most volatile, fickle in the country. Won’t they intimidate you?
Mitch D’ Avray: No I wouldn’t be intimidated by that, as that is one of the key reasons why I accepted the job to coach Bloemfontein Celtics. I remember them from my days with Moroka Swallows. I also remember them from my days with Cape Town spurs as being very volatile and passionate supporters as I said earlier on I am also passionate.
PE: Euro 2008 has just finished as a Coach and former international player. What lesson can we learn from the tournament?
Mitch D’ Avray: The tournament was I think highly successful tournament. I think the statistics will come out of the tournament. I will wait as they will probably come with the documents and I will have to read and digest these facts before making a comment. But I think it was a high quality tournament. I think everyone who watched enjoyed the games.
PE: My last question from what you know so far about Celtics, who are the most influential players?
Mitch D’ Avray: I do not know who that is at the moment as I have just been with the team for a week. There has been a lot of endurance work a lot of stamina. So I haven’t much seen them playing soccer. I will be able to answer that question in probably a month time.
PE: Thank you for your time, Public Eye wishes you everything of the best in you new job as the Head coach of Siwelele sa Masokolara.
Mitch D’ Avray: (laughter) Thanks you very much.