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Coach Hits Back: I Never Said It Was A Mistake

A Belgian coach has hit back for reports that he allegedly said that coming to coach Free State Stars was a mistake.

In the 2014/15 season, Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet had a brief spell with Ea Lla Koto where he was in charge of 10 league matches before his contract was terminated in November 2014.

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Saintfiet’s countryman Luc Eymael – who is also a former coach of the Bethlehem outfit – told the Siya crew he was disappointed that the coach allegedly said coming to Stars was a mistake.

“I am a professional coach and highly respected by the Belgian FA and I am a member of the Dutch Professional coach organisation. One golden rule I always respect is to never comment on any colleague. I respect all colleague coaches all over the world. I never said that it was a mistake to coach Free State Stars. I said lovely words about the club and its owners. I only said that it was maybe a mistake with a clear maybe, because at that time I was contacted by Rantsi Mokoena I was still working for the Wadi Degla group, I coached their Belgian team and had the offer to coach Wadi Degla FC in Egypt. But I went to Free State and had – from the first till the last day – a top relationship with players, staff and the owners Michael and Rantsi Mokoena. Even after I left, we stayed in touch,” said Saintfiet.

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“Don’t forget that I had decent results for a club like Free State Stars. In 10 games, I had three wins, two draws and five losses. We were 11th and only three points behind Pirates and Wits the moment I got sacked. The season before me they ended 14th. So that was not bad,” the coach added.  

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“I won the Cecafa Cup with Young Africans, qualified the U17 of Qatar for the World Cup, won several cups, I was coach in different countries with top results, and I have no doubt that I would do that again. I worked for years now with a South African assistant coach Riedoh Berdien. He also worked with me at Free State Stars, Togo, Bangladesh, and Trinidad and Tobago and now in Gambia. Together we can achieve a lot,” the coach concluded.  

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