19 June 2018 – Fresh from gaining promotion into the National First Divison, head coach of Mpumalanga’s TS Sporting, Mfanampela Maseko says winning the Mpumalanga ABC Motsepe League and eventually gaining promotion to the NFD has encouraged him to chase for more silverware.
The 35-year-old Mpumalanga born coach has been at the helm of Sporting’s success having joined the club three seasons ago while they were still in the SAB League. “Mpela” as the coach is affectionately known won promotion into the ABC Motsepe League in his first season with the club where they won the SAB League Play Offs and did it again this past season, guiding Sporting to the NFD, something the humble coach played down as simply being hard work.
“It’s an amazing achievement but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. We spent a single season in the SAB League when I joined the club and did the same in the ABC Motsepe League but the NFD is a completely different ball game, we need to be extra prepared and remain disciplined. Our intention was not to stay long in the ABC Motsepe League but to continue climbing up the ladder because we are an ambitious club” says Maseko.
Having been drawn in the same group as eventual ABC Motsepe Play Off champions, Maccabi, Sporting had to pull out all the stops to secure NFD promotion, something the coach credits to his ambitious side combined with his approachable demeanour as a coach.
“We have a very talented squad that stops at nothing to achieve what they want. I also have my unique way of coaching in a sense that I am not a hard or strict coach that players fear. I make it a point that I bring them closer to me so that I understand them better and vice-versa. I believe you get the best out of your players when they are free around you and they can approach you at any time”
Sporting will have their pre-season planning meeting next Monday (25 July) where they will map a way forward in preparation for the tough NFD.
“We have a meeting next week with the club management where we will decide when to resume our pre-season training and possibly look at areas that we need to beef up in order to compete in the NFD” concluded Maseko.