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Storm clouds gather at Jwaneng

Publishing Date : 19 November, 2018

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

A sense of impending upheaval has rarely been far from the surface at Jwaneng Galaxy during its turbulent years, so even if Manuel Da Costa has been taken aback by recent developments, the signs are familiar to old guard of players and coaches alike.


Galaxy started the season in an uncompromising mood, winning all their first four games. This put them on pole position and were without a cloud on the horizon, but a little more than four weeks later, having claimed only three points from two matches, the team finds itself below rivals, Township Rollers and Orapa United  while Da Costa glances nervously over his shoulder in fear of being stabbed in the back.


 The official word from within Jwaneng side is, of course, that Da Costa has nothing to worry about. The word from elsewhere — some of it filtering down from the followers and advisers who are privy to the management’s thoughts and mood swings — is far less reassuring: that being a foreign coach in all conceivable ways has not been good enough to make Da Costa any less vulnerable than his predecessors. When the coach was asked about the poor results, he blamed his assistant coach. Jwaneng Galaxy had to act.


Last season alone, after 11 games, Galaxy were on the second position with 18 points, 10 behind log leaders Township Rollers. At the same stage now, Galaxy are on spot number 5 having collected 20 points and are trailing log leaders Rollers by 12 points. For the management that has gone into commercialisation, partly led by Njabulo Gilika, there is an enormous difference between coveting an ambitious coach and installing him at the side where the mood is low.


 There is little to encourage the belief that open-minded coaches like Mike Sithole would be tempted again by Galaxy, so for now the story is merely that the coach and his assistant are being undervalued by the “lovers” of the team.Has this sudden, unnecessary sense of unrest, beginning with the inability of the team to push long serving assistant coach, Matshidiso Moseki to the top post, who some clearly views with caution, been responsible for Galaxy’ recent difficulties?


It is hard to suggest it is the main factor when it is clear former captain Boitumelo Mafoko and maybe Thabang Sesenyi, both playing elsewhere, have been more sorely missed in a season that threaten to  promise no honour for the team.  But, as was abundantly clear in the years that separated its 2016 Mascom top 8 success, turbulence behind the scenes helps nobody. As a survivor of the early years under different management, Captain Olebogeng Malebje is better qualified than most to put Galaxy’s recent troubles into perspective.


 But the major worry for Galaxy is that the new management of the club, whom many argue is sometimes set priorities wrong, is reportedly insisting in their mission of cost cutting exercise. This publication has gathered that the management is willing to cut salaries of old grown players where a couple of them might as well as leave before the axe fall on them.


 It is reported that the management  is fuming that such players whose name are known to this publication-with 30 or more years are slowly becoming a liability. Galaxy’s media liaison Archibald Ngakayagae liaison refuted such allegation in an interview and called for calm as they sort themselves.

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