We put in a call to renowned PSL Coach Owen Da Gama, to shed some light as to what the ever-persisting goal scoring problem at the mighty Buccaneers could be, here’s what the “ODG” shared with us:
“Dedication and hard work is required from the players themselves, to go the extra mile. While it’s great to have young players, experience is very much needed to pass the baton onto the younger players, by leading on and off the pitch”.
Forwards/Strikers need to put in the hours. Coach Da Gama says he was fortunate enough to be invited by the Blue Bulls Rugby team once.
“Umar, those guys get to training at 7am, and leave the club premises around after 5pm.” Implying that while only a certain amount of training, depending on the sport, should be done, often rugby players in S.A voluntarily remain behind to work on their skillset, or to improve on their weaknesses, this is something that soccer players must inculcate in themselves too”.
Whilst not pointing a finger towards anyone in particular, coach Owen Da Gama says a lot of the finishing problem lies in the coaching, and that it’s just a matter of the correct coaching, and spending more time with players as a unit. Focusing on individuals, coaches should be doing more to get the best out of their forwards.
ODG believes Orlando Pirates currently have a great coach in José Riveiro, who needs to familiarise himself more with local football as well as the players at his disposal.
In coach Da Gama’s observation, he is of the opinion that most PSL teams currently have equally good squads and coaches, but what’s letting them down, is coaches not being familiar with players, and vice versa.
Using Sekhukhune United as an example of a team with quality players all-round, as well as an astute up and coming coach in Kaitano Tembo, ODG feels they are going to become a force to be reckoned with, once the team is used to each other.
Coach Da Gama reminds us about when he first arrived at Silver Stars FC , the now defunct Platinum Stars. When the team was still based in Limpopo, how he inherited the striker, Hareaipha “Simba” Marumo, who at the time, no coach wanted anything to do with. Coach ODG asks us to look at Simba Marumo’s stats before ODG’S arrival at that team, as well as a similar occurrence at Highlands Park, with Peter Shalulile, whose record after his arrival at that team speaks for itself.
Coach Owen Da Gama also points out the psychological aspects of the game that need to be coached. Sometimes the strikers put themselves under pressure, and as a coach, one needs to get them to relax and to be calm, Surprisingly, sometimes that’s all it takes to turn a player back into form, as no player becomes a bad player overnight.