Sutton relishes NFD new boys status

Rovers in blistering start to life in second tier

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Stock photo.
Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/somkku9kanokwan

Platinum City Rovers coach Ashwin Sutton has refused to attribute their blistering start to life in the GladAfrica Championship to the fact that other teams don’t really know them since they’re new to the division.

Rovers, who earned promotion to the second tier after finishing as runners-up to Hungry Lions in the ABC Motsepe League national playoffs, have taken GladAfrica by storm. Bakone have won all their three opening fixtures.

“There are a lot of factors to our good start but I don’t really think being a new team has been an advantage for us. It’s not like teams don’t know us. We played, I think, four preseason tournaments against some of the teams in this league,” Sutton told Sowetan yesterday.

“With new technology, teams are assessing one another easily. So we’re not a closed book at all. I think our great start has more to do with hard work and the support we get from our management.”

The 50-year-old Sutton, who holds a CAF B coaching licence, explained how they intend to achieve their goals, revealing guaranteeing safety was their priority.

“Basically, it’s still early. Three games in a three-point system mean nothing. The key thing for me is to collect 30 points... that’s our short-term goal. I want to get to 30, then I know the team won’t be relegated,” said the Rovers mentor.

“After that we’ll move from our short-term goal to our medium goal, which is to try and reach the promotional playoffs. We can go all the way, but we know our priorities.”

The coach previously trained Maritzburg United, FC AK, Black Leopards and Cape Town All Stars, among other teams.

“I understand this league and its requirements. In this league if you don’t plan, you will be exposed. I trust our proper planning plus my experience will yield fruit at the end,” said Sutton.

Fixtures (all at 3pm)

Today: Spurs v Uthongathi, Parow Park Stadium; Bay v Leopards, King Zwelithini Stadium.

Tomorrow: Tshakhuma v City Rovers, Thohoyandou Stadium; JDR v Spurs, Soshanguve Giant Stadium; Lions v Cosmos, Sivos Training Centre Stadium; Sporting v AmaTuks, Kabokweni Stadium.

Sunday: Venda Academy v Polokwane, Thohoyandou Stadium; Callies v FS Stars, Lucas Moripe Stadium.

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