Whether Duncan Lechesa was pushed or walked as Polokwane City coach this week, his departure does not bode well for the newly-promoted Limpopo outfit.
It is notable that the first managerial casualty of the season comes, as it did last campaign, from a side that is fresh to the Absa Premiership scene.
Back then, it was Chippa United who sacked Manqoba Mngqithi just two games into the season. Owner Chippa Mpengesi then went on an unprecedented axe-wielding rampage, sacking a further four coaches before the campaign was over. And Chippa United ended up ... yes, you guessed it, relegated.
It has taken four games for City and Lechesa to go their separate ways and it remains to be seen just how many more coaches club owner Johnny Mogaladi will appoint before next May.
Mogaladi would be best advised, however, not to go the way of Mpengesi, and simply show a coach the door the moment a few results do not go his way.
The climb from the National First Division to the Premiership is steep enough without players continually having to adapt to new coaches and their various tactics.
A far better example of how to run a club comes in the form of last season’s other newly-promoted side, University of Pretoria.
Despite several failed promotion attempts, Tuks stuck with coach Steve Barker, and did so again as he finally got them into the top flight. The reward was an excellent first season in the Premiership, with Tuks finishing in the top eight.
They have had a stuttering start to their second effort, victory over Celtic on the weekend their first of the season. But you can bet Tuks’ management have not even thought about Barker’s future.
City lost their first four league games of the season, but it is not as if they were heavily beaten. In all of their games, they have gone down by a single goal.
Lechesa did brilliantly to guide the Polokwane side into the Premiership last season, and it seems a real pity that the former Free State Stars striker has not had a proper stab at coaching at the top of the South African domestic game.
If Lechesa has quit, then the responsibility here is hardly Mogaladi’s but if the City owner has sacked his man, he has acted way too quickly. Either way, whoever Mogaladi appoints now, must surely be given a decent run with the team.
If not, it is not hard to envisage a future that sees Polokwane City rock bottom of the league table for the rest of the season. -The Star