Mr Owen “Rubberdol” Da Gama. Photo: Frank Mavhungu.

Owen da Gama is new Leopards coach

Sport - Date: 10 February 2023


As one of many ways to try and save the team from possible relegation, Black Leopards have appointed Mr Owen da Gama to the position of head coach.

According to the chairman of the club, Mr David Thidiela, Mr Da Gama’s appointment came into effect on Monday this week. Mr Thidiela said that the 61-year-old mentor would be introduced to the players during the team’s training session at the Malamulele Stadium today (Thursday)

His appointment came after Lidoda duvha had parted ways with the head coach of the team, Mr Johnny Ferreira, three weeks ago. Mr Thidiela said that he was convinced that Mr Da Gama’s arrival at the club would end the team’s scoring drought. Black Leopards are currently rooted at the bottom of the log with 13 points.

A quick glance at Mr Da Gama’s coaching history shows that Black Leopards could hardly have appointed a more suitable candidate. Rubberdol, as he was known during his days as a soccer player, played for a number of local professional teams and abroad before he retired.

His road to fame started when he was appointed the head coach of the now-defunct Silver Stars FC, way back in 2000. At that stage, Silver Stars were campaigning in the then Vodacom Promotional League. He stayed at Silver Stars until 2007, when he migrated to Orlando Pirates. His next stop was at Free State Stars. Some of the teams he oversaw between 2008 and 2012 include Bloemfontein Celtic, Platinum Stars and Dynamos FC.

After working as assistant coach and head coach for Bafana Bafana between 2014 and 2016, Mr Da Gama moved to Highlands Park FC, where he stayed until 2021. He was appointed the head coach of TS Galaxy FC in 2021, where he stayed for 259 days. His last stop was at Sekhukhune United, where he worked as assistant coach until his contract expired in June last year. Mr Da Gama could not be reached for comment at the time of our going to press.

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Frank Mavhungu

Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990.  He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.