AmaZulu sack coach Roger Palmgren, after dismal season continues

2012-11-27 00:00

YET another PSL coach has been shown the door. AmaZulu’s Roger Palmgren was given his marching orders yesterday morning, after taking over duties last year.

Free State Stars’ late winner on Saturday in the Premiership at Moses Mabhida Stadium was the death knell for the Swede, as his side returned to the bottom of the standings with nine points from 12 games. This season has been atrocious, with one league win recorded when Palmgren was in Sweden for a family bereavement. The only other win was in the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout and looking at the figures, it’s been two wins out of 15 starts.

Being a soccer coach is a risky business, but, judging from Palmgren’s reaction to his sacking, they are bred tough — able to take the good with the bad and accept the inevitable when it comes. Palmgren, shortly after finding out his fate, said: “It comes with the job. Coaches are getting hired and fired around the world. I am just another statistic, but I leave with my head held high, knowing I gave my best to the club.

“I am proud of what I achieved, especially last season. I took over when the club was in the doldrums, as far as the league was concerned, and we finished seventh, getting a spot in the MTN Top 8 competition this season. It was the club’s best finish and most successful season to date in the PSL. There are no regrets and I can look back knowing I played a part in changing the fortunes of the club for the better, although the current situation tends to hide that.”

Palmgren acknowledged that injuries to key players, such as Tapuwa Kapini and Bukasa Kasonga, plus delayed registration of foreign players signed for the season, had hampered selection and performance. But, ultimately, it was the lack of goals that sealed his fate.

“As a coach, I can offer structures, game plans and ideas, but on the pitch it’s up to the players to put it together. We worked tirelessly on tightening our defence and creating chances, and, in our last few games, we had done just that. I was satisfied we were on the right track and would start making inroads into the league,” he said.

AmaZulu’s boardroom had seen enough, though. Assistant coach Fani Madida takes charge for the club’s next PSL match, an away fixture against Black Leopards on December 5, and will remain interim coach until a replacement is found. Philani Mabaso, AmaZulu FC’s PRO said: “The directors have been patient with the coach, supporting him and giving him a chance to improve our position.”

A successor has yet to be identified.

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