New signings, new ideas

2012-08-09 00:00

LAMONTVILLE — Golden Arrows introduced their new signings at Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday ahead of the opening PSL clash against defending champions Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium tomorrow at 8 pm.

Coach Mushin Ertugal was in good spirits as he spoke of his new team ahead of the season. He is looking at doing better than its 13th-place finish last time out. Scoring an impressive 40 goals last season, it didn’t help that the opposition knocked in 49.

This sent a clear message to Ertugal and management that there was a major problem in defence, and in the off season the club has been busy beefing up at the back.

Latvians Pavels Steinbors and Ritus Krajuklis come to Durban, adding a keeper and central defender to the squad. Stanton Lewis (striker) arrives from AmaZulu; Ndabenhle Mthembu (defender) from Durban Warriors; Justine Zulu (central midfield) from Zambia; Sizwe Nkosi (left wing) from FC AK; Souleymane Keita (central midfield) from Sivasspor; Nkanyiso Madonsela (right wing) from Durban Warriors; Nkosinathi Ogle (striker) from Thanda Royal Zulu and Siya Mngoma (keeper) from Tuks.

While these players obviously strengthen the squad and add credibility to the ranks, Ertugal will have his work cut out with a brand-new team. Opening the league campaign against Pirates is a stern test of his and the players’ abilities and he knows that having names on paper means nothing unless results are produced on the pitch.

“It’s a completely new team with new ideas, visions and goals for the season. There is still a striker position available and we could be signing a player next week, although I am not prepared to name him as yet.

“We have a different system we have worked on in the past eight weeks and it’s a matter of putting it together and seeing how the team copes. Harmony among the team is the vital ingredient,” he said.

With work permits finalised, Ertugal has the privilege of unleashing his new stars from the opening whistle of the season. With assistant coach Shaun Bartlett and goalkeeping coach Markus Gaupp beside him, Ertugal has a golden pot of talent and brains to pick this season.

Said Bartlett: “We have a talented squad and, combined with Mushin’s tactical acumen, we can only have a good season. We all learn from him and each other and this imparts on the players.”

Tomorrow’s clash will see most if not all these players on the pitch. Ertugal said he was “happy to see the fire in the players’ eyes and their commitment … That is something only a player can bring to a club. I cannot coach that and I expect every player to be committed to the club.

“I have the players and the youngsters to step up to the mark, make an impression on the field and keep the club going forward.”

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