Focus on: Mich d'Avray
Monday May 01 2006
Former Moroka Swallows and Cape Town Spurs coach Mich d'Avray is contemplating his future with his current club, Perth Glory, who are on the verge of being sold.
In an exclusive interview with SASoccer365.com, D'Avray confirmed that 'The Glory' are currently being sold to new owners and he will adopt a wait and see approach until he hears from club management.
When asked, however, about the major differences between Australian and South African soccer, the former Ipswich Town (UK) player said that SA soccer had more flair than the soccer 'Down Under'.
"Australian soccer is more physical and this aspect of the local game is the biggest contributing factor to the high number of Australians (over a hundred) plying their trade in the highly-competitive leagues of Europe.
"Having said that, I must mention that I have been away from South African soccer for a while now and cannot really make full assertions on what I experienced whilst I was over there, a lot must have changed by now," said 'The Glory' technical manager.
D'Avray made 247 appearances for Ipswich Town and also earned a UEFA Cup Winners medal in 1981 with the England club. He then went on to play in the Dutch First Division with NEC Nijmejen, where he finished his career.
Moroka Swallows was to be D'Avray''s next destination and that is where he cut his teeth in top-flight football coaching.
He later moved on to Cape Town Spurs and also enjoyed a stint South Africas Under-23 team, before moving to Perth in 1998 as assistant to then coach Bernd Stange.
He took over the reigns in 2000, guiding 'The Glory' to Championship success in 2003 and 2004, before taking up the role of technical manager.
"I think the best way for any manager to become successful in a foreign country is to first come in as an assistant coach. In this way he is in a position to learn the culture and the mentality of the locals, without being subjected to the pressure of winning championships in the shortest period of time, as it is expected of most head coaches.
"A lot of coaches commit the mistake of not taking the opportunities of learning about the local football first, instead they bring in their own ideas, thinking that because they worked brillliantly in a different soccer environment, then they should also work in their new environment," D'Avary added.
When asked about the progress of former Manning Rangers goal-poacher Kerryn Jordan, D'Avray said that the Auckland City striker had been recently approached by A-League side New Zealand Knights, but the talks had no positive result so far.
Whether or not D'Avary returns to South Africa remains to be seen, but it would certainly be a shot in the arm for local soccer were he to set up shop in the country once again.
Watch this space!