Bucks out to shake it up

Bucks have been drafted into Group 4 that houses Yakha United, The Guys, and Bizana Pondo Chiefs.
Bucks have been drafted into Group 4 that houses Yakha United, The Guys, and Bizana Pondo Chiefs.
Image: A file photo by Lulamile Feni

Mthatha Bucks look to bounce back to winning ways when they face The Guys at Mount Ayliff Stadium on Saturday.

Bucks have been drafted into Group 4 that houses Yakha United, The Guys, and Bizana Pondo Chiefs and since the Mthatha-based former National First Division side has failed to collect maximum points in three league games – going far in the competition could be a huge morale-booster.

Last season, Bucks made it into the competition after beating Uthongathi 2-1 during the Nedbank Cup preliminary round match.

They then went on to play in the last 32 teams round where they knocked out by AmaZulu when they lost 2-1.

Bucks chief executive, Lunga “Doc” Tukute, acknowledged they had a poor start to the season and he said “it’s the worst ever for Mthatha Bucks and there are so many reasons for that”.

“Our team was relegated [from National First Division] and we’ve lost so many players, and we were left with five players only.

“And we have a new team now, with that being the case we didn’t have enough time to prepare for the ABC Motsepe league,” said Tukute.

He said losing a pool of players that includes the new Richards Bay striker Mpho Erasmus, and former Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City attacker Luyolo Nomandela was the biggest contributing factor to that late start.

“Now that is coming against us. Because with the new players we have – it’s only been six weeks since we’ve been with them.

“So football is a process, and players take time to understand each other, and our recruitment process was not the way we wanted. Because we had to rush things so we could compete when the season started.

“And we had to look for U23s as well, so Nedbank Cup [playoffs] gives us an opportunity to look at some other combinations in the team.

“To see where we can strengthen the team, although we are in a process of beefing up the team – from the technical side to the players on the field.

“So that when we go back to the league games we have improved.”

Tukute said they were looking to announce a new head coach on Wednesday who will take over from their former captain Sibusiso Mapompo who recently ascended to the hot seat.

“We will make that announcement on Wednesday, we still have to finalise other things before we make such announcements.

“Hence I said we are looking to strengthen team on the technical aspects.

“And we want to compete in the Nedbank Cup – so we can again make it into the last 32 teams, because we have an opportunity to build a winning team.

“And we are hoping that players can quickly adjust to the new coach, who will make his own changes and we’ll try and see how we achieve everything we’ve set out for the team.”

He said Bucks were positive that their luck would change as management had to address players after the team suffered two losses and drew once in the third-tier league “because their spirits were down”.

“Those are big losses to us because we lost a game here at home, but our new players just need to adjust to the stage.”