Coaches brace for tough first division season

NATIONAL First Division coaches describe this season as the toughest yet, judging from the opening two rounds of matches.

NATIONAL First Division coaches describe this season as the toughest yet, judging from the opening two rounds of matches.

Thirty-eight goals were scored , 21 in the Inland and 17 in the Coastal stream compared with the 55 scored in the opening four matches of the Absa Premiership.

Witbank Spurs hold the record for the most goals scored after they found the net five times against Dynamos.

Black Leopards coach Vladislav Heric, whose side leads the Inland Stream, said there is no easy assignment in the division.

"It is difficult to play according to your game plan, especially when playing against the newly promoted clubs. You need to have dedicated and committed players to survive and also contest for promotion," Heric said yesterday. His club has reunited with midfield anchor Fisher Kondowe.

Steve Barker, coach of early stragglers University of Pretoria, shared Heric's sentiments.

"For us it will take time to be at the same level as the other clubs considering that we have signed 13 new players and also that five of our key players missed out on opening matches. I am confident that we will find our footing soon," Barker said.

Bay United coach David Bright said the league is not only tough but also competitive.

"It is difficult to predict a score because anything is possible in this division, like it happened in the past two seasons where clubs from this division featured in the finals of the Nedbank Cup," Bright said yesterday.

Umlilo are in top spot in the Coastal Stream with six points.

The price of failure is high, as Ikapa Sporting's first-choice goalie Mazier Casker found out.

He was released after the club lost the opening two games of the season.

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