Supersport United - End of Season Report
The good thing about taking over a club mid season is that you can see where the weaknesses are straight away, the down side is morale is usually shot and you have to hit the road running and that is exactly what we did. I took over during the winter break (or is that South Africans summer, I am not quite sure). Looking at my squad I could see we needed a better striker to get us firing. There was only one man for the job. Felix Chekham who I signed during my last save with Nantes and been following on this one, luckily for me he was at Raja Casablanca who were in financial trouble and I soon got him to put a transfer request and he joined for pennies. More on Felix later.
I was lucky to have two months to play a load of friendlies and get my squad fit for the second half of the campaign. We opened with two hard games against Ajax CT and Orlando Pirates and game away with two 2-0 victories. That good form was to continue over the coming weeks and months as we look to claw away at the comfortable lead Orlando Pirates had at the top of the table. Their lead didn't actual last long as they went on a terrible run that included one win in their final 7 games. This left us leading over Cape Town City by two points going into the last game of the season. We lost!!!
Luckily for us so did CTC and we won the league.
We followed this up with a Nedbank Cup win. I am not really sure how this trophy compares to the English setup, SA seems to have many domestic tournaments but it was nice to do the double 6 months after taking the job.
Has the second half of the season went on we found ourselves entered into the CAF Confederations Cup which starts towards the end of the season and finishes next season. The early rounds were pretty straight forward although we lost a couple on the road whilst fielding some reserves. This put us into a group stage of four with the top two of the two groups going into the Semi Finals. We had an easy group draw and after two games we sit on top.
Despite only being here for half of the season it seems to have been a long time with plenty of games played. I am happy with my squad, it is a little aging in parts but the quality seems to be there with many versatile players.
Revelation of the season as to be Felix who I mentioned earlier. What an amazing goalscorer and came second in the league charts despite playing half the amount of games. He is also the club record holder for most goals in a season. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do over the full course of next season.
With the good facilities at the club I was expecting a slightly better intake if I be honest, you may look below and ask why but I honestly believe some of those ratings are way off.
Samelko Mhlangeni is the top rated player on the list and although he has potential with the right training of course I think Christopher Jayiya will be the best out of that bunch.
The plan for the summer is to reduce the playing staff to a more suitable level and look to develop some of the youngsters with loan deals. On paper my defence is the weakest area of the squad so I will look to improve that. I will concentrate on South African youngsters in my recruitment, using the older players at the club as tutors.