Baroka FC coach, Wedson Nyirenda, says misfiring strikers is a problem that plagues all of Africa. Photo: Kabelo Leputu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Baroka FC coach Wedson Nyirenda is convinced that a single win is what they need to turn their fortunes around. The Ga-Mphahlele, Limpopo-based team have had a rough season so far.

After 10 matches, they’ve only collected one win, four draws and five losses and find themselves in 15th position in the Absa Premiership standings. However, with the league currently on an international break, and Bakgaga’s next assignment against Golden Arrows at home in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout on the weekend of October 20/21, there would be no better time for them to turn things around.

“It is just a matter of time before we start scoring goals,” Nyirenda said. “We need only one win and then things will fall into place again. The boys just need to remain in the structure for the entire 90 minutes (of matches).”

On the other hand, Bakgaga have done well in terms of being tactically disciplined and playing constructive football under Nyirenda this season, compared to the last two campaigns when they found themselves flirting with relegation.

However, their biggest stumbling block has been their lack of sharpness up front, which has been quite disappointing for a team coached by someone who was a prolific striker in his day.

“They way these boys miss chances, sometimes I feel that I can take off my jacket and get into the pitch,” said Nyirenda. “It really pains me. I think nowadays the boys are in a hurry (to score goals), and as coaches we haven’t done the elementaries of where they are coming from. So far I have seen that the basics of strikers is lacking, and even movement off the ball is not there.”

With that said, the 51-year-old former Kaizer Chiefs striker and Zambian senior national team coach stresses that it’s not only his team that have been struggling in front of goal but the African continent as a whole.

In trying to help improve the "scoring woes" on the continent, Nyirenda, as a published author, is currently working on a guideline book that will focus on helping strikers score more goals.

“The striking problem is not only at Baroka, but I see that in many teams here (in the Premier Soccer League),” he insisted. “The strikers are so predictable. A striker (must) make a lightning movement so that the goalkeeper and defender will not know what you are doing, hence I think that the element of surprise is lacking among the strikers. The next book that I am writing is called 'The Art of Goal-scoring’ because I need to help out so that we can see more goals in Africa.”

With Zambian strikers such as Collins Mbesuma, Christopher Katongo, James Chamanga and the current generation including Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga being a force to be reckoned with in the PSL, Nyirenda hopes to produce another unpredictable striker. “An unpredictable striker will always beat a tight defence and I am currently creating one in my team, but it will take some time,” he added.

The Star

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