PALAPYE: Morupule Wanderers and head coach, Dragolo ‘Drago’ Stagnolovic are in negotiations that could see the Serb leave the side.
Wanderers narrowly escaped relegation in the just ended BTC Premiership season.
The team was saved from the relegation battles by the Botswana Football Association’s decision to prematurely end the season with 10 games left, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
When the league was called off, Wanderers was sitting on position 13, just one place above the relegated TAFIC. The two teams were equal on points with 18 apiece after 20 games and Wanderers was saved by a superior goal difference.
The club failed to attain its top eight target set at the start of the season. Wanderers finished 10 points behind BDF XI, who occupied eighth position. Drago confirmed he had held negotiations with the club’s management, but they were at preliminary stages. The coach revealed he expects to meet the management again soon to continue negotiations. His two-year contract still has 14 months to run. “I am not happy with the negotiations so far, but we are meeting again. I might stay or I might leave, it is not a problem as long as the decision is good for me and also good for the club,” he said.
Quizzed on his thoughts on the team’s final position, Drago said the top eight target was unrealistic looking at the material he found at the club.
Drago revealed he arrived seven days before the league season kicked off and found many old players.
“There were too many experienced players and
Wanderers’ chairperson, Nelson Kgosipheko said the coach’s failure to meet the set target prompted the club to review his contract ahead of next season. He said they were negotiating to ensure they part amicably.
“We are far below the target and we nearly relegated. We want to prepare to go all out when football returns. We are preparing the squad, the administration and we will open application for a new head coach once our negotiations (with Drago) are sorted,” he said. Kgosipheko said they would be engaging Mamelodi Consultancy to workshop the club administration in preparation for the upcoming season. He said contracts of 11 players have expired and they would be released.
“If we settle for a new coach, we want him to find players that fit his style. I can’t reveal the names of players that would be leaving yet until we have engaged them about the situation. Our aim for the next season is a top-five finish,” Kgosipheko said.
Meanwhile, a number of coaches including former Zebras coach, David Bright, Boyo Radipotsane, BR Highlanders coach Blessing Moyo, Gilbert Mushangazike and Stan Mwanga are linked with the job at the Morupule Coal Mine-sponsored club.