Relegated Premiership side Bantu Rovers have admitted they made mistakes in the 2010 campaign that ended with an embarrassing three wins from 30 games and demotion to the Southern Region Division One.
From the first few games of the league, it became apparent that Bantu would be fighting relegation after they had survived by a whisker in their first season in 2009.
In 30 Premiership matches they lost 18 times, at times with embarrassing scorelines, only managing to win three games while nine matches were draws. They ended the season second from the bottom.
While teams have developed the habit of blaming referees when they fail to deliver, Bantu have admited to this was just not their season.
Their last premiership match against Shooting Stars at Hartsfield marked the end of Bantu’s dance with the top-flight league.
NewsDay Sport spoke to the club secretary-general and spokesperson Wilbert Sibanda on Wednesday.
“As Bantu Rovers we are not blaming anyone for our relegation. We take full responsibility for our relegation and we are not pointing fingers at anyone,” said Sibanda.
“We were unlucky this year. We were playing well and we tried everything in our power.
“Everyone could see that goals were not coming. Unfortunately games are won by scoring matches,” he said.
Bantu Rovers only managed 13 goals, the lowest tally in the league, while conceding 37.
When asked about the future of the club Sibanda said it was back to the drawing board to map out a strategy that could send them back to the Premiership in 2012.
“We are going to sit down before the end of the year and want to map the way forward,” he said.
The Bantu Rovers secretary-general also said that they would beef up their squad ahead of their campaign in Division One.
“It will be up to the coaches, they will identify the players if they feel there is need to,” he said.
Bantu Rovers coach Gift Lunga (Snr) said the team had played well despite their relegation at the end of the season.
“We were playing good football. But we were not scoring goals and in football if you do not score goals you are down,” said Lunga. He said the team would not make many changes though some players might join other clubs.
“We will not change much at Bantu Rovers. Other players will be leaving but we will keep most of the youngsters as we have been grooming them. Some of the players have matured,” he said.
The Methembe Ndlovu-owned outfit first looked like a promising side as they had quality players in their books such as former Highlanders midfielders Richard Choruma and Johannes Ngodzo.
Former AmaZulu defender Herbert Dick was among the players who had the experience that was expected to help Bantu become a force to reckon with in the PSL. Arnold Tshuma had the skill and pace, while young Marvelous Nakamba was a delight to watch.
But it turned out to be a horrible season for Tshintsha Guluva.
Observers though will point out that Ndlovu surrounded himself with too many friends, mostly from his former side Highlanders, whom he could not control or fire even when things went wrong. Lunga and his assistant Melusi Sibanda and chief operations officer Netsai “Super” Moyo are former Highlanders players.
The team is also structured along the lines of the more effective Highlanders, with a board of directors chaired by Lindani Moyo and the executive led by Sihlangu Dlodlo, who is deputised by Themba Ndlovu. However, they are not elected like in the Highlanders scenario, but appointed.