Playing as a collective is vital for Highlands' success

Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama.
Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama.

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" and so the saying goes.

It's this sort of approach that has seen Highlands Park coach Owen Da Gama managing to get the team closer to the top eight, rather than fight relegation in their first season back in the top flight.

The Lions of the North impressed in its National First Division campaign by winning promotion with a record 69 points and are now placed ninth in the Absa Premiership.

The former Bafana Bafana assistant coach to Shakes Mashaba, said this week that working as a "collective" has ensured Highlands are not the whipping boys, but real fighters out there on the field.

"First and foremost, you could understand from a national team point of view that it's not a one-man show. You have to work with people," said Da Gama.

"I worked with coach Thabo Senong, Molefi Ntseki, Shakes Mashaba and all the other guys in the (Bafana Bafana) technical area.

"We worked very hard together and I think that family thing helped Bafana a lot, but it also helped me as a coach to understand that it's not a one-man show."

Da Gama heaped praises on physical trainer Simone Conley, whom he also worked with while he was the SA Under-23 coach and his assistants, Allan Freese and Victor Tshabalala.

"She's done a fantastic job with regards to the strengths and fitness of the players. Coach Allan and Victor have assisted me beyond means. Coming to Matthew Strydom, our head analyst, he's just been fantastic with the goalkeeper coach Stephane Ekakala as well. I think everybody has done their duty."

He's already strengthening the team for next season having signed Marks Munyai and Rodney Ramagalela from Black Leopards and Polokwane City respectively.

Both players have penned pre-contracts.

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