Sunday, July 25, 2021

Jwaneng Galaxy exit CAF heads held high

Jwaneng Galaxy is looking to pick up some positives in its exit from participation in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions.

The local side participated in both the CAF champions league and the Confederation Cup under difficult conditions induced by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We participated in CAF competitions under difficult situations brought by Covid-19. We were unable to execute all preparation plans due to protocols that were in place that restricted movement,” team spokesperson Tankiso Morake says.  

Morake says insinuations that the team did not perform well due to internal administrative issues were way off the truth.

He says due to movement restrictions within the country as well as closure of borders, the team was unable to secure both domestic and international practice matches.

Morake says contrary to what is being said, technical team changes during the competitions did not have any impact on how the team performed. 

Prior to the start of its CAF campaign, Galaxy hired Sikalame ‘Six’ Keatlholetswe as its head coach on a one-year contract.

Keatlhloletswe’s hiring allegedly came as the then head coach Oris Radipotsane did not meet the minimum qualification set by CAF to coach in its competitions.

CAF however later rescinded its decision and Radipotsane was then able to assume his coaching role again as head coach.

“Keatlholetswe was redeployed to be the technical director and Oris was back to his role. Both of the coaches have never shown any signs of unhappiness” Morake explains. 

He said the committee that is responsible for appointing technical personnel saw it fit to make the changes. 

On the departure of the then team goalkeeper coach Modiri Marumo, Morake says there is no truth that he departed under unceremonious circumstances.

“Marumo asked to be released so that he can go to the United Kingdom to check on his family. He amicably requested to be released and he never resigned because he was unhappy,” Morake says.

On how the coaches reacted to their ever-changing roles, the Jwaneng Galaxy spokesperson says none has shown any signs of displeasure.

“Both coaches were happy with their roles. They have never showed any signs of displeasure,” he explains. 

On why the team chose to change coaches, Morake says the changes had nothing to do with the team’s ousting from CAF competitions.

Keatlholetswe only coached only four CAF matches, four in the champions league against, Zilimadjou of Comoros and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa. While Oris coached two against Orlando Pirates. 

Despite the team’s short journey in the CAF competitions, Morake says participating in the games was a good off-season preparation for them. 

“We learnt a lot and we had a chance to use them as a good off-season training. We played during difficult time and we managed to do our best against the best in the continent. Remember those teams that we played against had active leagues and we are almost 11 months without competitions,” he observes.

Morake says they gained some good and invaluable experience from CAF competitions and it will be of vital importance going forward.  

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