Less training, more motivation key to Stars’ survival

2014-05-10 20:47

Apart from bagging crucial 1-1 draws against Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in their bid to avoid the playoffs, Free State Stars have attributed their eventual survival to “less training and more motivation” during a difficult period.

This is according to Ea Lla Koto coach Kinnah Phiri, following their remarkable 3-0 win over Moroka Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium on the final day of this season’s Absa Premiership campaign.

Stars finished 14th and their victory at Dobsonville sent Polokwane to the playoffs against National First Division sides that will finish second and third when the lower tier league ends tomorrow.

Stars’ survival guide

Phiri said:

» I reduced the training to half to give players more energy to keep them in good shape;

» I told them that nothing is impossible;

» I told them every day that ‘we are going to survive! we are going to survive!’;

» When we got into the bus for the Swallows game, I said ‘go out there, don’t panic and play your normal game and get the goals. If things go worse at Dobsonville, it won’t be your fault and even if we go to the playoffs, we’d still come back.’

Lessons and the way forward

Phiri said:

» Not only the coach and the players learnt a harsh lesson but the club’s management as well;

» We have to plan properly and by that I mean we must get the team in good shape during the pre-season;

» As for what happened this season, we have to accept it because I came in the middle of the season and the team was already down;

» We’ll strengthen the team here and there, but the players that we have need a proper pre-season and they can still do the job next season;

» We also need a quality keeper to take us through the league.

Phiri, who is a former Malawi senior national team coach, had a stint at Stars between 2006 and 2008 and rejoined the club in December after Steve Komphela was sacked .

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