SuperSport Schools Plus

TS Galaxy’s homegrown style is taking them places

By Ongama Gcwabe , in Football | Featured Football | News , at 2024-05-24 Tags: , , ,

South African football has an emerging power in TS Galaxy, a club that has been on the rise for a number of years.

Across the board, throughout their teams, the club has been on an upward trajectory. From the academy, up to the professional teams, the Mpumalanga outfit is a regular contender in league and cup competitions.

In the DStv Premiership, TS Galaxy heads into the last round of fixtures sitting fourth on the log, trailing only the runaway leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, Stellenbosch FC and Orlando Pirates. They could find themselves competing in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.

Their u19 team, too, is in the top five of the highly competitive Gauteng Development League (GDL).

Under the tutelage of coach Esau Mtsweni, Galaxy’s u19s have thrived. When Mtsweni took over the role of head coach last season, he helped propel the team from 14th place up to sixth by the end of their campaign.

SuperSport Schools Plus caught up with Mtsweni seeking to find out more about Galaxy’s successes.

One of the keys that Mtsweni emphasised was the club’s obsession with developing their own style of football. TS Galaxy sides now have an identity that is vividly displayed on the pitch, and it revolves around playing high speed football.

Moreover, Mtsweni said the club is focussed on finding disciplined players and coaches more than it is focussed on talent or the potential of an individual.

“From the players’ perspective, we need disciplined players, players that are committed. The same applies with coaches. We need coaches who are disciplined, committed, and easy to talk to,” Mtsweni said, in an exclusive interview.

“From the playing side, we are a team that likes to play from the back. It’s a must. Whether you lose or you win, you must play from the back. You must have a constructive way of doing things.

“For me, I want my players to play the same. Whether there are five minutes left on the clock or the game has just started, I want the same style and intensity.

“If you check with our first team, as well, they play from the back and are comfortable. For that, you need comfortable players, and if you don’t have those types of players then you need to build it in them to be comfortable on the ball.

“Each and every player must understand his role and have clarity to say this is my job as a fullback, a midfielder or a forward. It takes time, but this is how I need to do things with my players, because they will go up to the DStv Diski Challenge (DDC) and the first team.

“I have a good relationship with the senior team coach, Sead Ramović, because I work with, and I understand, how he does things.

“Most importantly, we work hard and, if you listen to our first team coach talking, you will see that he emphasises that he wants hardworking players. When we don’t have the ball, we press high, and we work hard for the ball.

“We want players that have energy because our team relies on speed. Actually, modern football relies on speed, and we want speed for counterattacks etc. That’s our way of playing football. It’s high all the way, and it doesn’t matter if we lose, as long as we stayed consistent with our style.

“It’s only been three months, but we’ve done really well,” he added.

The rivalry between Galaxy head coach Ramović and Mamelodi Sundowns’ Rulani Mokoena makes for a fascinating matchup whenever the teams meet in the DStv Premiership.

No such rivalry exists between Mtsweni and Downs’ u19 coach Surprise Moriri but, when the teams meet, they always put on a show on the pitch.

Mtsweni says it is no coincidence that TS Galaxy’s games against ‘Downs always entertain as Galaxy targets the Pretoria-based side.

“The target is Sundowns, to say we must match them. I want players who are going to be able to compete against Sundowns because they are the best team,” Mtsweni explained.

“Guys let’s be honest, Sundowns is the best team in the country. Even their u19 team hasn’t been beaten this season. I don’t want to come up with excuses and say they have money, so they can buy the players they want. I don’t believe in that.” Coaches, Mtsweni said, have a huge role to play in developing talent.

“Coach Surprise is doing a great job there. I want my players to match Sundowns, so that, when we promote our players, they don’t get surprised when playing against the best teams.”

On Saturday, Mtsweni’s team welcomes Remember Elite Sports Academy (RESA) to George Lea Park for the 14th round of GDL fixtures.

Mtsweni says his team’s approach will be consistent. It’s about playing at high speed.

“From our side, we don’t change anything. Our football methods are the same and our principles stay the same,” he said.

“I try not to change things because of how the other teams play. I will treat RESA like Sundowns. Every game is the same with us,” he concluded.

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.