Strong heads needed

2018-09-19 12:14
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids (left) hopes his charges can learn from Bloemfontein Celtic’s recent heroics.

Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids (left) hopes his charges can learn from Bloemfontein Celtic’s recent heroics. (Gallo Images)

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Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids hopes players in the Absa Premiership, including his own, will take a leaf out of Bloemfontein Celtic’s book, after the Free State club saw their coach and key defender scoop monthly PSL awards this week despite reported instability at the club.

 

The club’s playing personnel and their coach Steve Komphela were not being paid their salaries, causing tensions in the camp, according to wide reports.

 

Their financial woes even led to club chairperson Max Tshabalala admitting the franchise was taking strain as the team threatened to go on strike to show their displeasure, while also revealing his willingness to put it up for sale.

 

But despite those issues, when “Siwelele” step on the field they put their issues aside and put on top performances, according to Davids and others.

 

They have defied the odds to win four of their five league matches this season, including a 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates, while drawing one match.

 

As a result, the club’s duo of coach Komphela and key player Alfred Ndengane were rewarded for their efforts on Monday, bagging the Absa Premiership coach and player of the month gongs for August.

 

Davids’ men will play them next in the Free State on Sunday.

 

Said the United coach: “Steve has a magic touch over there [at Celtic]. I don’t know what magic he’s spraying there — not getting paid, broken up this season, but the magic touch remains. What he’s done with his players is unbelievable and hats off to him.

 

“He’s been been under a lot of pressure in the last years, but really he’s a top coach.

“He needs the plaudits now. The media should be talking about him and praising him, but I haven’t been seeing it.

 

“You only heard about him when he was under pressure.

 

“We should support our local coaches. Steve has done a magnificent job, with players not getting paid. How do you keep them motivated? They’re on top of the log now.”

 

By contrast, his Pietermaritzburg club, who enjoyed a record campaign last term, sit rock-bottom after four matches and are yet to win a match.

 

They have lost twice in the league this season, against Golden Arrows and Free State Stars, while drawing their last two matches at home to Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits.

 

On their big dip in form, the 37-year-old tactician remained defiant, saying his new and old players were starting to gel and that a win was imminent as his camp continued to regain their confidence.

 

“This bunch of players are starting to get to know each other. They are creating chances and are unlocking teams now. It’s a start of building something really successful,’’ he said.

 

But last season’s top performer, midfielder Siphesihle “Little Wizard” Ndlovu, is unavailable for this week’s match as he continues to serve an automatic suspension.

 

Kick-off at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Bloemfontein on Sunday is scheduled for 3 pm.

 

Meanwhile, two league matches will take place tonight — Golden Arrows host Mamelodi Sundowns in Durban while Cape Town City make a trip to Orlando Pirates in Soweto.

Both start at 7.30 pm.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  maritzburg united

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