There were many happy faces when Gaborone United (GU) announced Major David Bright as their new head coach in June 2012 after he had penned a three year contract.
Bright, who was rejoining the club for the second spell, was tasked with winning trophies for the silverware-hungry GU supporters.
He arrived at the time when the Reds had just lifted the now defunct Coca-Cola Cup and expectations were sky high.
The Reds’ main target was to win the league championship which they had last won in May 2009, beating rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs 1-0 on the final day in Molepolole.
Based on the experience Bright carries when it comes to winning the championship, having done so with Mogoditshane Fighters almost 10 years ago, GU management believed that the 2012/13 Premier League season would be for rebuilding.
It is in the current season that Bright is expected to bring the title to GU headquarters in White City, Gaborone.
After GU were held to a 1-1 draw by Chiefs on January 18, there were reports that Bright was facing the chop as the management were not happy with the performance of the team. The reports intensified after their 2-1 loss to traditional rivals Township Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 semi-final first leg in Molepolole last Saturday.
It has been alleged that the relationship between Bright and his players has soured to the point where GU is crumbling.
Against Chiefs a fortnight ago when Tebogo Sembowa scored, he went all the way to celebrate his goal with Moemedi ‘Jomo’ Moatlhaping who was in the stands, a sign that many thought signified unhappiness by players at the continued omission of Moatlhaping from the team sheet.
Moatlhaping was eventually restored to the team’s starting line-up against Uniao Flamengo Santos in Molepolole on Friday night much to the delight of the Reds’ fans.
As if that was not enough, allegations once again emerged on the eve of Rollers’ game that Bright nearly stayed away because of his rocky relationship with club’s chairman, Fedelis Nkomazana.
Sources said it took the intervention of managing director Nicholas Zackhem for Bright to lead his charges on the day.
As all these rumours spread, Bright opted to remain silent. Whether he is happy or not at GU is a story for another day as his main focus is to collect points in the league in the remaining games.
“Bright is a smart coach hence he has not made noise about all these allegations. What is important for him is to finish strongly in the league and see what happens in case Rollers, Chiefs and BDF XI falter,” said a source close to Bright.
It is reported that an emergency meeting was held in the past week in order to bring all parties into the same boat.
The move is reported to have worked as all seem to be fired up for the good cause of the team.
When contacted for comment, GU publicity secretary Herbert Letsebe rubbished all the reports saying it is a plan by some ‘haters’ to distabilise their camp.
He pointed out that when results are not coming as expected, people would do anything to find excuses.
“There are people who want to derail the team. They will make all sorts of stories that the coach is being sabotaged and he is on the firing line. That is all rubbish because Bright remains our coach going forward,” said Letsebe. GU officials confirmed that a meeting had taken place where it was resolved that it is important to work together to change fortunes of the team.
He said that they have not given up on the league as anything can happen. “If we fail to win the league, we’re in the semis of Mascom Top 8 and all is not lost. At the end of the season, we’re going to sit down where we’re going to review everything at the club,” said Letsebe.
Meanwhile, GU have completed the signing of Zimbabwean hitman Thulani Moyo while Zambian striker Gerald Simfukwe’s deal had not been finalised at the time of going to press. Simfukwe comes from Nampundwe FC, who have been campaigning in Zambia’s Division One.