Team of Choice choose well

Rookie Davids ready, will­ing and able to de­liver on his men­tor’s five-year coach­ing plan

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - KAM­LESH GO­SAI

THE Team of Choice made the ob­vi­ous choice when Fadlu Davids was an­nounced as Mar­itzburg United’s new head coach yes­ter­day.

Davids, the favourite for the post va­cated by Roger de Sa ear­lier this year, se­cured a twoyear con­tract for his first head coach as­sign­ment.

The 36-year-old for­mer club cap­tain makes the tran­si­tion from as­sis­tant coach after twice filling in as in­terim head coach last sea­son.

He first stood in when German Ernst Mid­den­dorp re­signed dur­ing the first half of the sea­son, and later when De Sa left.

In 14 matches in charge in all competitions, the Capeto­nian lost twice, won the Coach of the Month ac­co­lade in April, and guided the KZN Mid­lands club to their high­est fin­ish of sev­enth place and a top eight spot for the sec­ond time.

Al­though one of the youngest coaches in the coun­try, Davids be­lieves it is the ideal time for him to step up.

“I was for­tu­nate my men­tor Ernst Mid­den­dorp set out a five-year plan for me to not jump into a head coach po­si­tion be­fore that, but take my five years in terms of get­ting my li­cences, gain­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s five and a half years now and time to take that step and be the head coach and con­tinue the suc­cess we had last sea­son,” said Davids.

Fol­low­ing that bright spell, Mar­itzburg chair­man Farook Kado­dia set a man­date to steer the team to a top five league fin­ish next sea­son and take the side to one cup fi­nal, and Davids, the holder of a Uefa B coach­ing li­cence, is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity.

“The project is re­ally ex­cit­ing with all the young play­ers com­ing through. Ev­ery­body talks about the coach­ing phi­los­o­phy. Of course ev­ery coach wants to bring an at­tack­ing style and wants to play ex­pan­sive foot­ball, but the play­ers de­ter­mine that.

“For­tu­nately we have a lot of dy­namic play­ers, a lot of pace and play­ers with pen­e­tra­tion and drib­bling skills, and it’s my job to get them to show­case their ta­lent and their one ver­sus one skills. We’ll con­tinue play­ing that at­trac­tive, high in­ten­sity game,” he promised.

Mar­itzburg open their cam­paign in Au­gust with an MTN8 clash against league run­ners-up Mamelodi Sun­downs.

Davids will be as­sisted by his younger brother Maahier, while a sec­ond as­sis­tant coach is yet to be ap­pointed. FADLU DAVIDS

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