This week's Do'Rego's blog features Santos midfielder Tyren Arendse!
It’s a big disappointment that we didn't win promotion. It’s the same kind of feeling we had last season when we got relegated. All of us are disappointed. It’s been a tough season for us. We’re very disappointed because we disappointed a lot of people. Ja, it’s difficult to put it into words. But, as a person, you have to go through that experience to explain what you feel inside. The only thing I feel right now is disappointment.
The chairman (Goolam Allie) did fantastically well by bringing Ian Palmer in as the coach. From where we were when we finished the first round towards the end of last year, I think we were battling. In that respect, I think the chairman did well by bringing in Ian. Credit must go to the chairman, and also to the coach for bringing confidence to the team. I think his understanding of the local players and the National First Division (NFD) helped us a lot. I think he has won promotion from the First Division in the past. His knowledge of the game helped us. The guys responded well to him and his coaching style, together with David Notoane. I think they made a good combination. With both of them being local, they played a big part in our turnaround in the second round of the season. The credit must go to them, and obviously to the players for responding. It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t gain promotion. But we did fantastically well to reach the Playoffs in the first place. If you look at where we were when Coach Ian came in, it was going to be tough for us to even get into the Playoffs. Unfortunately, your success is determined by what happens in the end.
We had the same problem we experienced throughout the season. I think it’s not just a problem for Santos, but a football problem for South Africa. That’s goal scoring! Even if you look at the game we played against Aces on Thursday (June 20), I think they got two chances and scored. We probably had four or five chances to score goals. That’s been the situation. I mean, we worked hard and it’s not like we played badly or anything. It’s just that we had this problem in front of goals. At the end of the day, games are won by scoring goals. But that’s what we couldn’t do. Chippa used their chance. So, ja, that’s disappointing for us.
We still have one game to go against Aces on the weekend. It’s another game that we still need to prepare for, irrespective of what has happened. We need to be professional in the way we approach the game. Afterwards, that’s when we can sit down as a team and discuss where to from here.
Once again, credit must go to Coach Ian because, while this thing (pending DC hearing) was going on, we remained focused. Even with the court cases going on, our main focus was to remain determined. We kept preparing for games. It was difficult for the players because it’s the offseason and we were supposed to be on holiday. But it happened that we had to play.
I think he did fantastically well to help us prepare for the games. As players we can only control what we can. We prepare for the game and play the game. We can’t determine what’s going to happen in court cases. That was the furthest thing from our minds. Coach Ian put a big emphasis on making sure that we were ready for the games. He made sure that we prepared well. The court case wasn’t even a factor for us because we just kept on training and working hard to improve ourselves. So that wasn’t even an issue for us because the only thing that we could control was our own ability on the field of play.
When I started playing professional football, it was with Santos in the PSL. Obviously, that’s where I want to see the team. Last year, when we got relegated, I said, ‘For me, it’s a responsibility to see the team coming back to the PSL.’ One day when I retire, I would like to see the team in the PSL. I will do what it takes to make sure that happens. I will always be part of Santos.
Coming from the PSL to play in the NFD is a big sacrifice. Many things aren’t the same. Even the teams we play against, we don’t know much about them.
The players had to adapt. In terms of the money involved, there is a huge difference between the PSL and the First Division. Although the players had to make a lot of sacrifices, I think we did fairly well. Like I said, it’s unfortunate that we didn’t make it in the end. But that’s football! We need to pick ourselves up and prepare for one more game and we can take it from there.