Not all gloom for EC SAB U21-analyst
Eastern Cape football analyst Nkush Malgas said the Eastern Cape’s performance at this year’s SAB League U21 National Championships had improved.
The championships are currently underway at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, Durban.
The Eastern Cape side were eliminated 1-0 by Limpopo in a tough match on Thursday afternoon.
However, Malgas, a former Mthatha City mentor, said it was not all doom and gloom for the team.
“Team EC had a problem when they had to play their first game against USSA and what killed them was the tactical question of communication [among] the boys.
“Because you could see that the team that the coach started with was not the same team that he started with in their second game [won 2-0 against North West].
“If we could have got more players from the SAB League provincial promotional playoffs, [recently held in Grahamstown] we could have advanced further in this competition because some of the most talented players were left behind,” said Malgas.
Even though Malgas, a former assistant coach at National First Division side Witbank Spurs, was critical of how the province performed at the national champs, he was satisfied with their recent performance.
“In last year's tournament, we got four points and this year we managed to get six points and that’s a good improvement,” Malgas said. “And going forward I can see the Eastern Cape coming out of its shadow, because it's a giant sleeping.”
In the semifinals on Friday, USSA managed to beat Gauteng in a penalty shootout and won 3-1, while Mpumalanga beat Limpopo 5-1.
“Check the last four teams that we have. USSA and Gauteng were the finalists last year. When you check the guy who is coaching USSA, it’s his third year running, and he’s won it in Polokwane and Soweto.
“Änd last year he got silver and now he’s in the final again and you can see the importance of continuity.”
Malgas said Mpumalanga’s coach and Gauteng’s coach had also been with them for years.
“You can’t come here on a one-year cycle and expect the results. We need to come here with someone on a two or three-year contract,” he said.
However, he lauded the provincial coach, Samnkelo “Scolari” Papu, who saw the team win two matches in the tournament.