Orlando Pirates have appointed former San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper coach Jyri Nieminen, following Englishman Andrew Sparkes’ departure.
The ex-Swansea coach vacated his post at the Soweto giants in May, returning to the United Kingdom after a season at the club.
He is replaced by the Finland national, who possesses a Uefa A Goalkeeping licence obtained in 2016, and has coached in three continents.
“Nieminen joins the club having recently served as Goalkeeper Coach for MLS outfit San Jose Earthquakes. Before his move to the United States of America, Nieminen worked as the Goalkeeper Coach for the Aspire Academy and Qatar U-17 National Team, where he specialised in elite player development and game analysis,” the club shared on its website.
Jyri Nieminen joins Orlando Pirates family
Nieminen – who will be working closely with ex-Bafana duo Wayne Sandilands and Brilliant Khuzwayo, as well as Siyabonga Mpontshane in the Pirates first team – expressed delight at joining one of South Africa’s biggest clubs.
“Extremely proud and excited to join this huge club with great tradition and history. Ready to make this adventure and coming years exceptional,” he Tweeted.
The 31-year-old joins a technical team lead by Serbian national Milutin Sredojevic, who he will be working alongside, with assistants Rulani Mokwena and Fadlu Davids.
The squad is expected to assemble for pre-season at the end of June, as they prepare for the upcoming campaign, which begins on the weekend of 3 August.