The 30-year-old featured sparingly under the German mentor, and he threw a jab at the coach, saying he manipulated him during his time with Bucs
Zambia international Augustine Mulenga has revealed it was him who requested to be released from his contract with Orlando Pirates.
Mulenga said the reason he left the club was his lack of game time under Josef Zinnbauer and the fact that more players were recently signed meant his situation wasn’t going to improve.
“I would like to tell the Pirates fans that it was my decision to leave Orlando Pirates. I wasn’t getting game time and now they’ve signed more players. I can’t stay and experience the same thing again,” said Mulenga in an interview with SAFM.
“I’m also a national team player and If I don’t get game time, then I will lose my place in the Zambia team. I’m 30 and I need to play regularly.”
The 30-year-old attacker claims he kept asking Zinnbauer what is it that he wasn’t doing right but the coach wasn’t honest enough him.
And Mulenga feels the German mentor manipulated him throughout the season as he’d only play him when any of his trusted players were injured.
“The coach didn’t play me much and I kept asking what I needed to do,” revealed Mulenga.
“I don’t think Zinnbauer was honest with me. I expected him to be like a father. I kept asking him what’s wrong and he would act like everything is ok but then I’d still not play.
“I didn’t understand that. I would only play for Lorch or when someone was injured. I think the coach was manipulating me.”
Mulenga said his former teammates were surprised when he told them about his intentions to leave the Sea Robbers.
Zinnbauer’s technical team even offered that he goes on loan for a season, Mulenga claimed.
“Everyone was surprised that I wanted to leave, but I had to make a decision. The technical team even offered me to go on loan but I couldn’t do that. I also received the blessings of the chairman,” he added.
“I was treated well at Pirates but when you are a foreigner, there are a lot of challenges, including language. Some of the guys would speak Tswana and we didn’t understand. But these things happen in football.”
Meanwhile, Mulenga suggested he would be keen on staying in the PSL because he believes he has unfinished business, and has received a lot of offers but hasn’t decided on his future as yet.
However, he sees himself playing for another big PSL club although he’d think twice if Kaizer Chiefs were to offer him an opportunity to play for them because of the respect he has for Pirates fans.
“I would like to stay in South Africa because I feel I have unfinished business here,” he concluded.
“I have received many offers and I’m still considering my options. I would still like to play for a big club but I’d have to think twice if Chiefs came for me because Pirates fans are like family and I know what it would do to the supporters.”