FRANCISTOWN: Great North Tigers (GNT) coach Ndiyapo Letsholathebe has offered his reasons for releasing almost all the players who did duty for the team in previous seasons.
Letsholathebe fielded a new team against Calendar Stars on Saturday, and said he had to rebuild the side. The team that lost to Stars featured several youngsters.
“I had to rebuild. The players I released were a bit older. The players I signed are of better quality and I am confident that they will get stronger as the season progresses. They are also very energetic,” the former Zebras defender said.
He added that he would not be fighting for honours this season. “My target this season is to finish in the top eight. It will not be logical for me to try and fight for the league with a team I have just assembled. This season is all about giving the young boys a feel of the league.”
Ndiyapo further stated that he is still getting used to the team hence it will not be appropriate to challenge for the league while still familiarising himself with his new environment.
“I will definitely try to go for the league next season,” he said.
Tigers handed Letsholathebe his first full time coaching role late last season following the departure of longtime coach, Edward Leposo. Tigers have lost their opening two matches this season.
Meanwhile, his Calendar Stars counterpart, Vincent Chikumba said it would be difficult for his side to mount a title charge, owing to resource constraints.
“We want to compete for the league, but lack of adequate resources is a very serious hindrance. We can go all the way and mount a strong fight for the league but without a solid sponsor, I can’t guarantee that. I have now set my sight on a top finish. I think with the personnel and resources we have a top finish that is very realistic,” he said.
“We have spent two seasons fighting relegation, but I think this season we will be better. We are getting used to the territory.”
Chikumba said his side had a very good pre-season, which is why he believes that a top four finish is realistic.
“Even the young players we have signed have adjusted quickly and I am confident that they will help us finish in the top four,” he said.
Stars have played two league matches this season winning one and losing one.