WELCOME STUART BAXTER
The acquisition of Stuart Baxter as Head of our Technical Team brings closure to an episode that has been laced with drama as the 2011/12 season drops its curtains.
Amongst the many candidates that expressed an interested, we opted for his signature based on our future plans particularly around enhancing capacity in the youth development programme. We were also attracted by his extensive work as a trainer of coaches and hope to usurp such knowledge to benefit our future technical strategy.
Whilst he may wait for the season to wrap, he remains on reconnaissance mission to assess all videos of our seasons’ games in preparation for the start of the new season.
When introduced, he mentioned two very profound points around doing the best he can to bring the best out of players and restoring the team back to its winning ways; perhaps two ingredients that have recently went on recess. His wealth of experience gained from coaching in different environments puts him in good standing to ascend the list of other bidders for the coaching assignment.
Of course he is familiar with our local turf after guiding our National Team and working with some players including Arthur Zwane in the current technical team. We are therefore happy to welcome his expertise and hope he gets the necessary support from our administration, players and supporters to steer this ship afloat an interesting sea-bed of South African football. Let me however thank all coaches that also expressed interest to be a part of our family and wish them success in their future endeavours.
We are also looking on the players’ side to reinforce and possibly export some to other potential suitors. Whilst I appreciate that several names have been punted for consideration, may I however call for patience considering the recent changes in our Technical Department. It is only fair that we give them an opportunity to deliberate and raise recommendations instead of acting on impulse to fill the team with material they would otherwise not need. We shall make the necessary announcements when the process is completed.
Following our meeting on the Technical Team, it was decided that the current members are going to be retained. Their roles would be clarified when the new season commences.
THE LEAGUE RACE
Whilst we may have surrendered our chances of claiming the league by dropping nine valuable points in rapid succession, our back-to-back victories against Sundowns and Ajax have somewhat reinforced our challenge to finish within the top eight bracket. With six points remaining, we hope to finish strong by regaining our confidence that we will certainly need during our preparation for the new season.
Against Ajax we started our course on fire with a blend of enterprising passes spread carefully to reach the opposition’s danger zone. I believe with a tad more caution and precision, the score margin could have reflected a much better when considering the porous nature of their defense at some stages of the game.
Yeye’s composure in finishing a beautifully crafted move displayed sheer excellence whilst Shabbas’ unfortunate pole kissing strike almost followed a similar pattern. Bernard Parkers’ goal and an almost similar miss later in the stages also proved that the lads have been hard at work to consolidate the basics of carpet football that have been on sabbatical lately.
I also noticed that our defense had done some good work in helping Khune regain his confidence whilst our middle of the park allowed Ajax to dominate the first twenty minutes of the second half. Our second goal restored some order to bury an opposition that has yet to win against us at the host stadium. Congratulations to the team.
Like I said before, the remaining six points are still as crucial to our course and no amount of a sluggish approach will be welcomed to finish our league race with dignity. I expect our away game against Free State Stars at Puthaditjhaba to be the toughest considering our desire to finish on a high against theirs of fancying a top three finish on the log.
Congratulations to Tshwane’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Supersport for finishing in the finals of the lucrative Nedbank Cup. May the best team win.
Kaizer Motaung (Mr.)