Baroka boss' tough mandate to coach Wedson Nyirenda: Win the league title

Beroka FC players celebrating their win by throwing Witson Nyirenda, head coach of Baroka FC, in the air during the Telkom Knockout Final match between Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on December 08, 2018 in Port Elizabeth.
Beroka FC players celebrating their win by throwing Witson Nyirenda, head coach of Baroka FC, in the air during the Telkom Knockout Final match between Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on December 08, 2018 in Port Elizabeth.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Baroka FC escaped relegation by a whisker last season but that has not stopped club chairman Khurishi Mphahlele from issuing a mandate to coach Wedson Nyirenda to win the league title in the coming campaign.

The tough mandate will come as a surprise to the nation's soccer lovers as Baroka have flirted with relegation every season in the top-flight‚ and yet Nyirenda is expected to win domestic football's biggest prize.

“I have given him (Nyirenda) what he wanted with regards to players and he must give me what I want.

"He knows very well that I want the league‚” said Mphahlele.

Baroka boosted their ranks with the acquisition Gerald Phiri‚ Denwin Farmer‚ Richard Mbulu‚ Sbonelo Ngubane‚ Khulekani Madondo‚ Manuel Kambala‚ Kamohelo Mogaswa‚ Mfanafuthi Shozi and Lloyd Kazapua during the off-season.

Mphahlele insisted that given the signings they have made‚ it is not unrealistic to ask the coach to deliver the league title.

“I am satisfied with the quality of players that we managed to recruit to the club and how the pre-season has gone over the past month or so‚" he said.

"Our team is balanced in all departments and what is left now is for the coach to come up with winning combinations so that we can achieve our mission.

“We are in our fourth season in the PSL and we can’t continue to say that we are learning.

"It is time to be bold and declare our intentions of wanting to win the league as early as possible.”

Baroka are not eligible to participate in the MTN8 after finishing at 14th place last season.

Mphahlele said he's so determined to win the league title that he would not be too bothered if Baroka fail to defend the Telkom Knockout or win the Nedbank Cup en route to the bigger picture - the Absa Premiership.

“I am not too much worried with the cup competitions because they are mostly about luck‚" he said.

"You can win four games and be crowned cup champion but in the league you must be consistent over a period of 30 matches.

"That is how teams are judged and that is what we want to do this season.

“I think we are going to be dark horses because a lot of people do not think that we can actually challenge for the league.

"Having seen these boys at training and some of the pre-season matches‚ we are going to surprise a lot of people.”

Baroka's record in the top-flight is no great shakes as they survived relegation through the play-offs in their first campaign after they finished 15th.

They could only manage 14th place finishes in the 2017/2018 and 2018-2019 seasons.

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