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Troughton hopes to tap into his vast experience when he guides newly promoted Callies in the NFD

Sammy Troughton (head coach) during the Stellenbosch FC press conference at Athlone Stadium on March 09, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Sammy Troughton (head coach) during the Stellenbosch FC press conference at Athlone Stadium on March 09, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images

Pretoria Callies coach Sammy Troughton says his considerable knowledge of the National First Division will hold him and the side in good stead in the coming lower tier season.

The Romans and Eastern Cape's Bizana Pondo Chiefs earned qualification to play in the GladAfrica Championship next season and Troughton will hope to tap into his vast experience when his charges compete in the division.

Troughton‚ who is assisted by Sly Mosala‚ promoted University of Pretoria and Mpumalanga Black Aces to the topflight throughout the many years where he has coached in the lower division.

“It’s okay for me to know the league very well but the most important thing are the players and I have to work as hard as I can to get through to them so that they can handle the pressure‚” he said.

“In the past‚ I promoted Tuks and Black Aces‚ I got Stellenbosch FC to the play-offs and in some of the jobs I went in to help teams to survive relegation because they were struggling. So yeah‚ I have been around and I know this league very well‚ but it is more about the players.”

Troughton‚ who has also coached Nathi Lions and Thanda Royal Zulu in the NFD‚ said their season which starts with a match against Free State Stars at Goble Park is not going to be an easy one.

“It is a tough league and when I say that it is very competitive I am not saying it has the quality of the PSL. But when I say it’s competitive‚ I mean all the teams are very close because one week you play against a bottom team and it’s a tough game‚ and then next week you play against a team at the top of the table and it’s the same.

“There isn't a big difference between the teams because they are all very equal in terms of ability. You saw last season that Ajax Cape Town were probably better than the rest of the teams but there were periods where they struggled a little bit and I am expecting the same this season.

“There are a few new teams and all will be beefing up their squads. There are a lot of players hanging around and looking for jobs. In the PSL‚ clubs are not having big squads because everybody is cutting down on budgets and this means players are out of work.”

Troughton has given the players this week off and has bemoaned the short break after the conclusion of the ABC Motsepe League play-offs last weekend.

“Normally you would like to have pre-season where you assess players and gradually build fitness‚ but we haven’t got that and this comes with the territory. We wanted to get to the First Division and we have to pay a little bit of a price now that we are here.

“The NFD is a different level and at the moment we are discussing the squad and what changes are we going to make. It is inevitable that there are going to be a few changes‚ we might have to release a few players who maybe did not contribute to our season and we need to beef up the squad.

"We need a few new faces and experience possibly‚ even under normal circumstances teams bring in new players to freshen up the squad.”