Dylan Kerr promises shift after TTM change their name
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JOHANNESBURG - The coach of the renamed Marumo Gallants FC says they want to achieve the improbable by finishing in the top three in the Premiership next season, and they will not be in the Caf Confederation Cup just to make up the numbers.
Yesterday, top-flight outfit and Nedbank Cup champions Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila were officially renamed Marumo Gallants FC during an unveiling ceremony in Johannesburg.
The owner of Bahlabane ba Ntwa – their new official nickname – Abram Sello says the decision to rebrand the club was to commemorate the bravery of the players and technical team when they endured trying times in their maiden season in the top flight.
“The new name of the club is inspired by our journey together since February and the off season.
It’s a journey that has been rough outside the field but it’s also a journey that has seen victory at the end – as you can see the trophy in front,” Sello explained.
“The name that you’ll see today is a tribute to the bravery of our soldiers, the players. I want to say to the players of last season and their technical team, ‘thank you very much for being courageous and writing a beautiful verse in the book of football in the country’.”
TTM punched above their weight last season as they avoided relegation and won the cup, despite the odds being stacked against them due to poor administration at the club.
But with the team turning over a new leaf, coach Dylan Kerr has challenged his players.
“Every season you want to solidify a top-eight spot. But let’s forget about that: let’s finish in the top three,” Kerr said. “It can be done. This year AmaZulu and Golden Arrows have done it. You’ve got to believe that it can be done. Knock on the door, always, and believe.”
In recent seasons, it’s been tough to find any Limpopo-based side in the top eight as they are known to be relegation candidates. That’s why Kerr and his players will have to work hard if they are going to achieve their target.
The Polokwane team will be playing continental football a year after their inception. They qualified for the Confederation Cup after winning South Africa’s premier club knockout competition against Chippa United last month.
“That’s (struggling in domestic football because of playing in a gruelling continental competition is) an excuse,” Kerr said. “You don’t hear European teams complaining when they have to compete in the two competitions. They have the players and a big squad.
“The advantage is that I’ve been in the two competitions, the Champions League and Confederation Cup, with Gor Mahia. I know what to expect. I know the trickery that they do in north, east and west Africa. I know what they do to try and upset teams that visit them.”