Player transfers and aqcuisitions
The drama around player transfers continues throughout the league; a familiar occurrence this time around.
To most people the transfer period may look an easy run in the park but for us that have been in this business for long, it is a delicate bidding process that needs careful strategic planning and implementation.
For once we are dealing with human beings, their aspirations and future forecast whilst juxtaposing that against the business or commercial nature of our industry. Beyond dealing with talent management, we are grappling with relocations, and interruptions of normal domestic life whilst creating opportunities for the players’ personal and professional growth. As such we are obliged to carefully consider all aspect of their movement before we could make any informed decision. The transactions are therefore far remote from the usual on-the-street-corner purchase of consumable commodities. These and many other reasons account for our sensitivity around handling the process by being careful not to hastily release any information before all the nuts and bolts are tightened.
Whilst this might seem to frustrate supporters and create speculative media frenzy, we are essentially just doing our bid to respect and protect the welfare of our players and the interest of our business; something that we remain unapologetic in managing.
In addition, whilst it is common for some supporters and media to prematurely flaunt names, it must be understood that any sealed contract may have been recommended by the Technical Team before any outside influence. Often people forget that players are acquired to fulfill a particular technical role that would have been identified and designed to fit into the playing pattern of the team. Again this is far from thinking that big-names and populist reputations make better teams and can therefore be picked like apples in an open market street corner.
We have witnessed on many occasion players that moved because of pressure from outside and the ever tantalising lure of commercial gain. The tragedy is that often such players end in limbo and drift into obscurity when they don’t crack their presence into their new homes. Fernando Torres’ record move from Liverpool where he was an iconic goal minder has reduced him to a shadow of his former self at his new home Chelsea. And so has many others locally.
I am raising such issues after reading interesting comments by some of our supporters in local media. Whilst I appreciate their free expression of comments and ideas, may I caution that they don’t slide into controversy by assuming an unofficial role of misrepresenting the stance of the team and that of other supporters. We have always embraced a professional approach of announcing our acquisitions when we have secured such and not when we are pressured to flow with trends and demands to feed media.
Our case in point is the story around Siphiwe Tshabalala whose current situation continues to attract interesting comments from so-called soccer experts that have gone on to warn us not to “harm” the player. These may be speaking from position of ignorance since they do not have the slightest of clues on the dynamics surrounding his anticipated move or stay at Kaizer Chiefs.
Meanwhile we cannot be held to ransom by such indecisiveness whilst the deadline for acquisitions is drawing close. It would help us at this stage to know so that we consolidate our plans for the future instead of being kept in the dark and unfortunately condemned as “hurting” the player.
Meanwhile I welcome the start of the Reserve League which I believe will challenge inactive players to find their rhythm and verve to fight their way into their senior teams.
To date we have engaged in a goalless draw against Bidwest Wits University at an exciting first game at Eldorado Park Stadium. Our second encounter will be against TUKS University in other match that promises to thrill our soccer hungry supporters.
Such games are critical to assist the technical team in assessing their new protégés and irregular players by sharpening their technical prowess as the senior league progresses. In all I am looking forward to an exciting finish to the league race.
Further abroad, I am drawn to the developments in Spain where Barcelona continues to rule the roost in the Spanish Laliga and other European competitions. They are currently a team on song by mastering all aspects of modern football. There is obviously something well they are doing to make all playing departments properly synchronized both on defensive and offensive play.
The battle for continental championships continues to enthrall with some players demonstrating why they are best in European and other international leagues. So far we have not seen great football but hope to remain glued until the final whistle of the championship match. It is encouraging to note that the COSAFA Region is likely to be prominent after Angola and Zambia acquitted themselves well in their previous encounters. On the one hand, Botswana did well against Ghana and could have gotten a result were it not for a foul against Jerome Ramatlhakwane who seemed goal-bound.
May I express our heartfelt condolences over the passing of Suzan Katsande, the sister to Willard Katsande in Zimbabwe.
We were also shocked to learn of the tragic passing of Jeffery Ntuka whose departure is certainly a sad loss to South African football after making a promising start at SuperSport.
My thoughts are also with Jimmy Tau and Mlamli Dlamini who will be laying to rest their beloved kinfolks over the weekend. May all seek the comforting solace of GOD and rest assured of HIS grace that heals our troubled hearts.
Kaizer Motaung (Mr.)