Championship wrap: Swallows climb to third place

Championship wrap:  Swallows climb to third place

Moikhomotsi Thibedi of Swallows FC celebrating his goal with team mates (Photo by Gallo Images)

With just two points separating them from the team leading the race for promotion in the GladAfrica Championship, Swallows have raised hope of making a return to the top flight.

The Dube Birds have climbed to third place equal on points with Uthongathi who are a place above them because of a better goal difference ratio.

The team had a difficult start and it led to then coach Zeca Marques being asked to step aside and the team brought on Brandon Truter who has worked like a charm to turn the team into promotion contenders.

“When I took over the team was around the 13 or 14th place. The initial talk was to stabilise the team and try for a top eight finish,” said Truter in an interview with Radio 702 on Sunday night.

“The club was not doing too well at the time. But we have managed to get it right with the help of the chairman and the players. It is still a process. We now have nine games to play and we are in a good spot. We are just taking it one game at a time. Our objective now is the next game. We look to progress from each game and see where we can improve,” he added.

Truter also remarked on the contribution of the old guard in the team, the likes of Vuyo Mere, Virgil Vries, Lebogang Mokoena and Sipho Sibiya. The team has also recently brought Phumelele Bhengu back and he opened his scoring account last Saturday as they beat Mbombela United 1-0.

“When I came in we did an analysis of players we had. We had 43 players and had to cut to a manageable number. From there I had to instil the playing style that I felt would suit the players. It always takes time because it is new ideas, you concepts and tactics. I knew it would take about five games.  The adaptation and the fact that the players were coachable was phenomenal.

“Guys like Virgil, Cheeseboy, Vuyo and Sibiya, are guys who have been in the game for a long time. They are experienced and have been around the block and know what the Championship and Absa Premiership are about. Without players like them I would have struggled. I value their input,” said Truter.

Swallows’ chairman, David Mogashoa said they had always believed the team could go all the way and win promotion in their first season in the Championship.

“We always had faith that we will be back in the top flight. We’ve done well under the new coach,” said Mogashoa.

Other results

Pretoria University 0 TS Galaxy 1 (K. Shozi)

Khayelihle Shozi’s second half goal was enough to seal the three points for the Rockets, ending a long dry spell for the Mpumalanga side. Their young goalkeeper, Leathan Croats also did well in his debut to keep the side who have just confirmed Mabhuti Khenyeza as their new coach in the game. Khenyeza will take over from Muisi Ajao who was caretaker after Dan Malesela stepped down.

Richards Bay 0 Jomo Cosmos 1 (L. Lebalelo)

Ezenkosi had to fight hard to get the three points away at the Rich Boyz. Lefa Lebalelo was the hero for Ezenkosi as his goal was enough to give them a big win. The three points take them out of the relegation places but they are still unsafe with four points separating them from Mbombela United who are 15th.

Uthongathi FC 1 (J. February, og) Cape Umoya 1 (G. Hammers)

The Spirited ones were unlucky to concede an own goal which drew the Cane Cutters level. Gavin Hammers had put the Capetonians  ahead earlier on.

Tshakhuma 1 (L. Mabotja) Steenberg 0

Tshakhuma closed the gap in the promotion race as they beat Steenberg 1-0 through Lebogang Mabotja’s goal. The Thohoyandou based side can still make a fight for a place in the play-offs.

TS Sporting 1 (S. Khumalo) FS Stars 1 (S. Dubula)

The spoils were shared and it was a good result for Ea Lla Koto away. Sibusiso Khumalo scored for the home side and Siyabonga Dubula did the same for the visitors.

JDR Stars 2 (S. Zwane; N. Ononogbu) Royal Eagles 2 (M. Kizza; M. Seanego)

Royal Eagles fought hard to come from behind and earn a point away from home. Siyabonga Zwane and Nkosinathi Ononogbu scored for the Hammer Boys and Martin Kizza and Masealego Seanego did the same for the visitors.

 

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