The unenviable, but expected coaching merry go round in the beMobile Premiership has now started. With just seven games played in the 2014/15 season, two coaches have already lost their jobs and analysts believe more are likely to be sacked by the time the league goes to recess. In a tumultuous week in the local coaching, Jwaneng Galaxy has parted ways with Oris Boyo Radipotsane, while Keitumetse Pio Paul looks on the way out of the Extension Gunners camp following his suspension.
According to local analysts and coaches, the firing and hiring of coaches at this stage of the league title race is something that was to be expected. “In the past, we have seen coaches being fired just three games into the league. In my opinion, this has been long coming and was probably long overdue looking at the recent trends where coaches are fired even before the league is midway through its first round,” local football analyst and agent Monty Gaomokgwa opined. The same sentiment is shared by football coach Innocent Morapedi, who said the trends suggest that the hiring and firing of coaches in the league is long overdue. “Let us not take it any further, if you remember very well when I was at Notwane, I was fired just after five games. There are other coaches like the then Letlapeng coach Thaloba Nthaga, who just like me was at the helm for just five games before he left the team. Looking at this past trend, this has been long coming,” Morapedi said.
According to both Gaomokgwa and Morapedi, a number of reasons such as the teams’ performance and pressure from team management are responsible for the continued trend. “When a coach signs a contract, there are targets that he agrees to reach at a certain period in his contract. Some of these contracts are performance based and if a coach fails to meet his contractual obligations or fails to perform as agreed, he is shown the door. Sometimes, a coach can be fired based on not meeting the high expectations from the board based on the quality of players availed to him,” Gaomokgwa said. He said looking at how tight the league looks to be going, most teams will be pressing panic buttons very soon. “If you look at the league standings right now, there are less or no points separating them and as such, any of the teams is at risk of being entangled in the relegation battle. Sooner or later, one or two teams may be looking for a new coach,” Gaomokgwa said.
The football analyst cum agent said looking at the names of coaches on the sidelines, there is plenty quality to put pressure on a lot of current coaches. “We have coaches like Seth Moleofhi, Stanley Mwaanga, Chicco Nare and Stanley Tshosane, just to mention a few who have experience and may be chomping for a chance to coach in the bePremiership. Just the availability of these coaches will cause any coach to look over their shoulder if his team is not doing well,” Gaomokgwa concluded.
For his part, Morapedi alluded that while the coaches performance and failure to reach agreed targets are main reasons why coaches get fired, sometimes the firing of coaches is an admission by the management that they erred while employing a certain coach. He said before the first round of the ongoing season ends, one or two heads will roll as pressure mounts on both coaches and team managements. He concurred that with the number of quality coaches on the sidelines, pressure will be mounting on coaches whose teams are struggling. “This will get even more visible if one of the available coaches goes to watch the game of a struggling team. They will be linked with the clubs and supporters will also put pressure on team management to fire and hire,” Morapedi said.