Local News 26.8.2016 01:00 pm

Bartlett: Promotion is the mandate

Shaun Bartlett coach of University of Pretoria (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

Shaun Bartlett coach of University of Pretoria (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

The University of Pretoria kick off their National First Division (NFD) campaign against Cape Town All Stars on Saturday, and coach Shaun Bartlett says they want to bounce back immediately.

Jomo Sono might be the undisputed king of promoting (and relegating) his beloved Jomo Cosmos. But the “Black Prince” might have to glance over his shoulder to stay watch out for Bartlett, who is determined to guide the University of Pretoria back into the Premier Soccer League in what will be the second time, if successful.

Bartlett was the hero when he helped promote Golden Arrows after spending one season in the NFD, and looks to repeat that achievement.

“That is the immediate mandate for the team to try and get promoted to the PSL, and we are determined, but we are not under any illusion that it will be easy, it will be very difficult. We need to make sure that we take every game with the right mentality and try to get a result out of it, because we can only put out a fight if we win as many games as possible, and that is what we are targeting,” he said.

AmaTuks had a chance to salvage their PSL status in the promotions play-offs but failed dismally. However, the former Bafana striker is confident that his team can put up a good fight for a topflight comeback.

“It has been going well in terms of the reparations during the off-season, the players have been responding well, and we played against quality teams against SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits. We have assembled a great team to challenge this season.

“We have assembled a decent squad to compete, a good mixture of young players and experienced players. I am not the kind of coach that singles out individual players; it is a team, and we have to be proud to have a solid unit. We have players who are relatively unknown, and we will be looking to showcase them so that they can stand a chance to attract the national coaches and pursue international careers,” said Bartlett.

“A lot of teams have strengthened their squads for the season, especially Cosmos and Cape Town All Stars, who we are playing our opening game against. They have all made good investments in players, and it shows that everyone wants to play in the PSL, so it will be tough,” he concluded.

poll

results

Celtic 1-2 Arrows
United 0-0 FS Stars
Chiefs 2-0 Maritz United
Plat Stars 0-1 Baroka

fixtures

Pirates vs Plat Stars
Maritzburg Utd vs P City
Highlands P vs CT City
Chiefs vs FS Stars

psl log

# Team GP Pts
1 Arrows 4 9
2 Orlando Pirates 3 7
3 Bidvest Wits 3 7
4 Kaizer Chiefs 4 7
5 Cape Town City 4 7
6 SuperSport United 4 5
7 Polokwane City 4 5
8 Chippa United 2 4
9 Platinum Stars 3 4
10 Baroka FC 4 4
11 Maritzburg Utd 4 4
12 Highlands Park 3 3
13 Ajax Cape Town 4 2
14 Free State Stars 4 2
15 Sundowns 1 1
16 Bloem Celtic 3 1