Thanda Royal: new coach tovey sees tough NFD season ahead

2011-07-01 00:00

NEWLY-NAMED Thanda Royal Zulu coach Neil Tovey expects all National First Division (NFD) clubs to have a tough 2011/12 season after the Premier Soccer League imposed a ruling that clubs should field five U23 players in the starting line-up.

With the core of players that made up Thanda squad consisting of players nearing 30 years of age, they will be forced to look for youngsters with no experience to campaign in the one stream division.

Speaking to the media at the club’s offices in Richards Bay after being unveiled as “Professor” Ngubane’s successor on Wednesday, Tovey said: “It’s going to take a while for the players I will be bringing to blend with those who were with the team last season.

“Its going to be tough for all clubs, especially with these changes brought about in the NFD. We want to get promotion. People must realise that Rome was not built in one day.”

Tovey said he will remain with at least 10 players from last season and has started to cast his net wider in search of players he worked with at previous clubs.

He stressed that he will give preference to local youngsters.

Thanda general manager Peter Kotroulis welcomed Tovey and offered to support the Durbanite, who has coached at Mamelodi Sundowns, Hellenic, AmaZulu and Mpumalanga Black Aces.

“What attracted us to Neil is his winning mentality. He is a no-nonsense type coach who will instil discipline in the team,” said Kotroulis.

Tovey’s assistant will be named shortly, while Ngubane, who had been in charge of the team for two seasons, has been deployed to the development ranks.

The veteran Ngubane failed to steer the ambitious club to the Premiership, falling at the promotional play-offs hurdle.

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