Vasco Da Gama coach Tony de Nobrega
Monday Jul 21, 2014. 13:11
Now that they have a new owner and plans to restructure the club’s youth development set up, the ambition will be for Vasco Da Gama to win promotion to the Absa Premiership again.
The Cape Town National First Division (NFD) outfit are now under the ownership of the TMM Group, whose CEO Mario Ferreira is passionate about giving back to the community and moving patiently into the top flight.
He says there will be no rush to reach the Premier League, but that immediate attention will be given to the club’s structures.
Mario, Vasco Da Gama have a strong tradition in the community of Cape Town, how much did this influence your decision to buy the club?
As TMM we want to put something back into the community and we understand that this club has a strong tradition. Football wise we want to have a structured approach and we are going to focus on both the professional side and the amateur set up.
What does the new structure of the club look like?
TMM Holdings (PTY) Ltd are the majority shareholder at Vasco da Gama while Forwardzone, headed up by Ashley Kotzin, are the managing consultants overseeing the structures of Vasco Da Gama, from the amateur set up to the professional team.
Who from the previous Vasco set up have been retained?
Besides the brothers Carlos, Paulo and Mario Das Neves, the rest of the previous Vasco shareholders will no longer involved with the club in any official capacity.
The current Vasco technical team of Tony de Nobrega, Keenin Lesch and Kenny Gertse are staying on to lead the team.
And your immediate and longer term ambitions…
We obviously want to get into the PSL top flight, but our goal is to do that over two years, and the next two years after that we want to get into the top 8 of the Premier League and after that whatever happens, happens.
Vasco have a very strong youth set up and we understand this is one of the reasons you bought into this club?
It is one of the reasons and we will be putting in a different structure at the club, from the professional team down through to the juniors as well. This is where Ashley Kotzin will come in to play with his experience of club structures and youth development.
We will also be bringing out some coaches from overseas to help bring our youth coaches up to a higher level.
Our idea is to make Vasco one of the clubs in Cape Town that everyone wants to play for. We know this takes time and that is why for the next couple of years we will be working towards making this a club of choice for young players.
Tell us a little more about yourself?
I was born in Mozambique and I live in Gauteng where I am the CEO of TMM so I consider myself a South African Portuguese. I have a long tradition with Portugal too, I have actually been given a very important accolade by the Portuguese government. It is like being knighted by your country’s government.
Despite this I am a South African Portuguese and understand the tradition of the name Vasco Da Gama and what this club means to the local community.