One out of 9 gets Lavagne axed

2016-09-28 06:00
THE fired Free State Stars head coach, Denis Lavagne. Photo: Supplied

THE fired Free State Stars head coach, Denis Lavagne. Photo: Supplied

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BETHLEHEM. Z Free State Stars has parted ways with its head coach, Denis Lavagne, following a stint of poor results.

Lavagne was sacked on Thursday, 22 September, a day after his troops had lost by 0-1 to Golden Arrows on their home turf at the Goble Park Stadium in Bethlehem.

Lavagne was appointed by the Bethlehem-based outfit in June to replace Italian Giovanni Solinas, who left the team at the end of the season.

Since his arrival, the French-born coach managed to collect one point out of the possible nine.

Under his leadership, the team lost two games and drew one.

They lost by 1-2 against the in-form Chippa United in the league opener and drew 0-0 against Bloemfontein Celtic in the Free State derby before losing to Arrows at home

In a game against Celtic, Ea Lla Koto was lucky to earn a point and they should thank Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni, who has been loaned to them, for the brilliant saves he made to put them in the game. He was also named Man of the Match on the day.

Going forward, the home team did not look dangerous, as they had spent most of their time chasing the shadows of the Phunya Selesele players who looked angered for three points.

However, the coach seemed to never have learned from the previous games, as he came with the same defensive approach in the Arrows game, which saw his team losing the game in the referee’s optional time.

Arrows scored a winning goal in 90+1 minutes, thanks to Lehlohonolo Nonyane.

Apparently, the relationship between the players and the coach was not that good as it is alleged that he was bossy.

A source in the team told Express Eastern Free State that the players were not happy with the coach.

“The coach was not good to some of the players and that was affecting the team.

“They did, however, bring that to management’s attention and they were told to hang on while they (management) were looking for another coach,” a source said.

Mike Mokoena, chairman of the team, confirmed to that they had parted ways with the coach.

In a statement released by the team, general manager of the Free State Stars Football Club, Rantsi Mokoena, stated the following:

“In concluding the employment contract with Free State Stars Football Club the head coach had agreed that the special nature of professional football and the need for excellent relationships to avoid the very real risk of disaster to the entire club, team, and all its stakeholders is such that if the employment relationship between the parties breaks down for any reason, but particularly if the head coach does not perform to the standards desired by the club, termination will be appropriate.

“It has been a tough decision that the club has had to make knowing how early in the season it is and (considering) the track record of the head coach.

“However, due to the recent loss to Golden Arrows and the mood within the first team, the club has elected to avoid the risk and look to include a head coach who will assist in building the morale of the footballers which we believe will result in valuable points.”

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