Having already beaten the likes Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United, and Orlando Pirates, next on the giant-killing spree for Lamontville Golden Arrows is the prized scalp of Kaizer Chiefs. Serame Letsoaka’s side meet a wounded Amakhosi this evening at the FNB stadium, and will be hoping for more of the form that has seen them occupy seventh spot on the log with a 50% win ratio so far this season. Letsoaka, who surely narrowly missed out on the coach of the month accolade to equally deserving Cavin Johnson, says his team has been putting in a shift at training: ‘I think one thing that we’ve improved on is our speed of play. A lot of teams can’t cope with our speed of play. Secondly, it’s the organisation that we’ve been working on from day one at training’.
Abafana be S’thende had a bye this past weekend after their scheduled game against Ajax Cape Town was postponed following the passing of Cecil Lolo, and Letsoaka used this time to rest his players while he plots the demise of his more fancied opponents. The coach says: ‘We’ll be playing Chiefs as you say. And it’s going to be a tough match. The good thing is that the match we were supposed to play (vs Ajax) has been cancelled and we’ll come to Chiefs with fresher legs. And hopefully continue where we left off against Pirates.’
A lot of eyebrows were raised when the former Bafana Bafana assistant coach joined the coastal club, leaving long term mentor Gordon Igesund at SuperSport United. The detractors might have even waited for his downfall so they can point at chairlady Mato Madlala for letting go of Shaun Bartlett, the man who guided them to promotion after just one season in the NFD. However, coach Serame has more than vindicated the decision.
He says: ‘Going to SuperSport with Gordon was to try and study what is happening in the PSL. I did get an offer to coach another team but as you can remember I had been working in the national teams set-up for quite a long time so I wanted to study local football. So when the offer came (to coach Arrows), I felt that I was ready to take a team. Fortunately for me it was a team that had just been promoted. The challenges of rebuilding it were not so high.’ The coach also revealed that contrary to popular belief that the boss is quite a tough one to impress, Madlala is very understanding: ‘The chairlady is extremely supportive. We talk everyday. Sometimes very robust discussions, but it’s those that build the team. Initially I couldn’t understand. She’s one person who’s just interested in answers. Once you explain why you’re doing certain things, she’s happy.’
It’s easy to say she’s supportive when things are going right. It will be interesting to see whether that won’t be considered interference should it all go pear-shaped. Arrows will do well to guard against complacently in tonight’s fixture, especially against a Chiefs side desperate to get back to winning ways after the embarrassment of the Soweto Derby at the weekend.
Tuesday’s Full Fixtures :
Kaizer Chiefs vs Golden Arrows
Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Jomo Cosmos Maritzburg United vs Polokwane City
All matches scheduled for a 19:30 kick-off