Tornado coach expects mighty exodus ahead

Tornado may not have triumphed at the playoffs, but several of their top players have nevertheless been scouted to join teams playing in the National First Division
Tornado may not have triumphed at the playoffs, but several of their top players have nevertheless been scouted to join teams playing in the National First Division
Image: Randell Roskruge

After  having impressed a lot of teams at the National First Division playoffs that were recently held in Limpopo, Tornado might lose a pool of players to other teams, says coach Tshepo Motsoeneng.

Tornado were knocked out in the group stages in the tournament that saw Maccabi and TS Sporting promoted to the NFD at the Turfloop University Fields in Polokwane.

Motsoeneng’s charges drew against Buya Msuthu and The Dolphins. As such they finished second in their group, and through the football they displayed on both matches, impressed club and top-flight scouts might soon seal deals with more than five players.

“I might lose all my centre-backs, even the number one goalkeeper [Phuti “Minaj” Lekoloane], but as long as our players are going to a higher league it’s not a problem to us.

“Because if we were not able to put the club to NFD at least we can pride ourselves and say our players are there,” said Motsoeneng.

Among the players he expected to lose was Thabiso Mikeala, who was approached by TS Galaxy at the playoffs, and their team captain who boasts more than 10 years of experience on the pitch, Charles Gallagher.

“Charles [Gallagher] told me that Uthongathi by the end of this month, Rocky [Masixole Loli] might be going to TS Galaxy.

“Mduduzi Mabaso as well – he was approached by TS Galaxy, including our left-back Majozi from TS, and by now we all know that Charles Hlalele is with AmaZulu.

“Siyabonga Nontshinga [former Bafana Bafana international] might not come back to the club – but he didn’t say anything about where he might be going.

“Sydney Ntsoalo might not come back as well because many teams showed interest in him, and Luyolo Nomandela told me he might be also going to TS Galaxy. Vuyisile Wana might go back to NFD.”

Motsoeneng said if all these players seal their prospective deals “the core of the team will be almost gone and we’ll have to start afresh again”.

When asked whether he would leave for greener pastures, Motsoeneng didn’t shy away from giving a straight answer: “If an opportunity came knocking I don’t see why I would not take it but I’m more interested in winning the league for the second time. But I also want to grow as a coach and I know I’ve been here for almost two years already, so everything depends on the results.

“But most importantly I want to give next season a go because I feel like we might have found a way to win the league last season, so why not the second time.”

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