Mafoso speaks on Bantu’s playing style
BANTU coach Bob Mafoso, who has come under fire from some of the club’s fans for his side’s “poor display in recent matches” says he did not get time to adequately prepare his team tactically when he joined the club at the beginning of the season.
Despite leading the side that’s leading the table with 31 points, seven ahead of closest rivals Matlama, some fans have publicly chided Mafoso for failing to play free-flowing football as was done by former coach James Madidilane.
When Madidilane left at the end of the last season, Bantu sought out his former assistant from his Kick4Life post to fill in the void.
Madidilane had coached the Mafeteng outfit for three seasons winning two league titles and one Independence Top4 cup in the process.
However, in his last season at the club, Madidilane failed to win a single trophy but the prospects are good for his successor who has helped the side lead the league race midway through the season.
Bantu has won 10 and drawn one of their 11 matches but still some supporters have been apathetic to the side’s playing style.
And this week Mafoso said since he did not get adequate time at the beginning of the season, he has had to stagger some aspects of the team’s training to avoid overloading the players.
“We have been forced to prepare for results…because we had limited time with the full squad and our focus was more on tactical aspects of the game,” Mafoso said.
“…We must still help our players on communication and decision making but unfortunately, we had time constraints and that is what has made our performances scrappy.
“I arrived late at Bantu, so I didn’t spend time with the team during the preseason. I had wanted the team to play differently after analysing how it played last season and why it failed to win any silverware, so we wanted to rectify that… The other challenge is that the side lost players like Mkhwanazi Motlomelo (transferred) and Lindokuhle Phungulwa (injury) who were key members.”
Mafoso said although their display was unattractive, they were not under any pressure considering that they have made serious progress so far.
He said it was understandable that some supporters were unhappy about the team’s playing style but also said it would take time before the team fully grasps what the technical team is teaching them.
Mafoso also said the fans should not expect the team to continue to play in the style that was synonymous with the former coach as he was a different coach altogether.
“We are still trying to help the team satisfy its supporters but we just need a little patience to get there. We also prefer having loads of possession but that requires the correct players. However, losing players like Phungulwa, our former captain was always going to be a blow.
“Even in my previous jobs at Sandawana and Kick4Life, I have always liked playing with possession… Everywhere I have coached, I have done so with pressure because I have always replaced coaches who have achieved great things and the fans always expect the same from me. I am very grateful for the chances that I am getting but I just need some patience.”
Despite his side’s exploit thus far, Mafoso played down its chances of reclaiming the league saying it was too early to say.
“The first round is still incomplete and we know that anything can happen if a team drops points. So, it is still too early to be talking about winning the league.
“We will have a clearer picture after playing the last two games of the last two matches of the first round against Kick4Life and LDF. Only then can we talk having seen how the other teams would have fared. Yes, we have the advantage now because we are leading the log but it is not over yet,” he said.
Mafoso also hailed the support they have received from the team’s management and supporters.