FSS Boss Reflects On Club's Past Season
Free State Stars’ General Manager Rantsi Mokoena has taken the time to reflect on the 2015/16 season, where the Bethlehem outfit reached the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup and finished 12th in the Absa Premiership.
Despite an unsettled start to the term, where they lost their opening three league matches and relieved Kinnah Phiri of his duties, along with the sudden resignation of Ernst Middendorp after leading them to five wins and three draws in 10 outings, Mokoena expressed satisfaction with the end of the season.
“In an ideal world there would be coaching continuity, but sometimes changes are made either by design or forced on clubs. That’s the situation that confronted us last season.
“Things were not going well at the start of the season, so rather than let the problem fester the club took decisive action and brought in a new coach, Ernst Middendorp – that was a strategic move and the club’s choice.
“Then just when the situation had stabilised and things were looking up again, the coach resigned unexpectedly – the club had no control over that," said Rantsi.
Mokoena also admitted that they were left disappointed after the German mentor’s unexpected exit, but had to endure to reach their goals.
“Of course we were disappointed when Middendorp left, but that shouldn’t detract from his achievements here. His win ratio shows that he was a good appointment."
Following Middendorp’s departure from Ea Lla Koto, Mokoena was equally pleased with the appointment of Italian coach Giovanni Solinas.
“Giovanni came in and proved to be another very good appointment. We are satisfied with how the season panned out under his stewardship and also relieved because the margin for error when making coaching appointments is very small. Sometimes the wrong appointment can prove very costly.”
He also took the time to pay tribute to the players who stood managed to adapt to three separate systems during the course of the 2015/16 season.
“Different coaches have different philosophies, but as professional players they will work with whoever is in charge,” he said.
“It is a great credit to the players that they knuckled down and went about their business as consummate professionals. I couldn’t be more proud of the crop of players we have at this club and their dedication to the cause, “ Mokoena added.