Augusto Palacios has banned all sorts of luxuries at Orlando Pirates and intends to whip the players into focus during his next spell as caretaker coach.
Palacios says he never expected chairman Irvin Khoza to call on him again following the resignation of Muhsin Ertugral but knows that he has to cultivate values of discipline.
The Peruvian is back for his third spell at the helm and was not mincing his words as he made it known that though his goal is to ultimately play entertaining football, he will not handle his squad with kids’ gloves.
“What is important is the discipline. I will not take nonsense from anyone,” declares ‘Njenje’.
“If you don’t arrive on time then the change room will be closed and you cannot change, you have to go back home. This is myself. There is no way players will take cellular [phones] to the camp, there is no way for me.
“The interpretation is very simple. Why do you take cellular [phones] to the camp? If you receive the bad news on the cellular then you cannot play. Now to avoid these things I need the players to focus on the game. You can use it in the room but not during meals, not in the bus and not in the change room can there be a cellular with me. I will not take any cellular and you need to know the rules. It is that simple with me. All players cannot have s.ex 3 days before a match because they will be tired.
“I want the players to focus when we go to camp and when we go to the game. This is the decision that is also for me, I don’t carry a cellular in the bus, I don’t carry a cellular in the change room and for me discipline starts when the players arrive early.
“I want the players to understand that Orlando Pirates pays their salaries as full-time professionals and they need to be in time 24 hours for any activity. I don’t have military discipline, I will not stop the freedom of the players, but people need to understand simple aspects,” he explains.
Having been in South Africa since 1984 and at Pirates for the past two decades, Palacios further details what he just doesn’t entertain. Alcohol, cigarettes, girlfriends at training and night-clubbing all form part of what he is against.
“I will not allow players to come smelling of liquor, we will take tests for every training session. I will not allow cigarettes, nothing like this because I need to protect the interests of the club,” he adds.