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Platinum Stars announce new coach

Platinum Stars Football Club are delighted to announce the return of Owen da Gama to take up the vacant head coach role for the upcoming 2010/11 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season. Da Gama has left his post as head coach of PSL side Bloemfontein Celtic and returns to Dinaledi on a two year contract, beginning his duties with immediate effect. The 48-year-old spent seven successful years coaching Platinum Stars between 2000 and 2007, helping them to promotion to the top-flight in 2003, and then master-minding the club’s victory in the 2006 Telkom Knockout competition. He left ahead of the 2007/08 season to take up the head coaching role at Soweto giants Orlando Pirates. “I am delighted to be returning to Platinum Stars, a club that is very close to my heart after so many years spent here previously. I am returning to a very different club though, one that has moved base to Rustenburg and into world-class facilities of the Bafokeng Sports Campus. These are exciting times for this ambitious team and the chance to be part of this bright new future was too good for me to turn down,” Da Gama says. Stars looked at a number of excellent candidates for the position of head coach, but in the end decided to go with Da Gama, who has a proven track record in the PSL and at Platinum Stars. “Owen is an outstanding coach who brings a wealth of experience to the club. We are delighted he has decided to join us at a time when we are looking to take the brand forward into a new era. We have the utmost confidence in Owen and those players who remain at the club from his first spell in charge will tell you he has exceptional qualities as a coach,” Jason Raine, General Manager of Platinum Stars, says. Former Platinum Stars owner Joseph Mapfulagasha had initially brought Da Gama on board to lead the team, and then called PSM Parkhurst, in the Second Division in the 1998/99 season. He won the side promotion that year before leaving the team to tend to his IT business in Pretoria. Da Gama was brought back for the start of the 2000/01 campaign with the mandate to build a squad capable of winning promotion to the top-flight. The squad managed it in the 2002/03 campaign and were elevated to the big-time, with players such as Surprise Moriri, Sailor Tshabalala, Oscar Ntwagae and Stanley Kgatla at the heart of Da Gama’s team. The team also secured a notable scalp in the form of Orlando Pirates in the Absa Cup. Pirates would go on to be crowned League champions that year, making the feat all the more remarkable. History was made in the 2006 Telkom Knockout when a hat-trick from Simba Marumo saw the side run out 3-1 winners over Ajax Cape Town at the Super Stadium in Pretoria, and claim a first-ever major piece of silverware for the club and the coach. In his playing days, Da Gama was a striker with Arcadia Shepherds, Pretoria Callies, Moroka Swallows and Dynamos at home, as well as Germinal Beerschot in Belgium and Derry City in Ireland. OWEN DA GAMA FACTFILE Date of birth: 18/8/61 Teams coached: Leeds United (Durban) player-coach; 1997-98 Dynamos; 1998-99 PSM Parkhurst; 2000-07 Platinum Stars; 2007-08 Orlando Pirates; 2008 Free State Stars; 2009-10 Bloemfontein Celtic Honours: 1997/98, 2002/03 First Division Inland Stream; 2006 Telkom Knockout; 2005/06 PSL Coach of the Season

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