23 September 2020 – TS Galaxy FC head coach, Dan Malesela took time out of the club’s preseason training schedule to speak to the club’s website on a number of issues ahead of the 2020/21 season.
Malesela is renowned for his eye-catching football. He endeared himself in to the hearts of the Rockets when he propelled the club in the pinnacle of South African football by winning the Nedbank Cup crown last year at the expense of Kaizer Chiefs at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
TS Galaxy (TSG): How are you coach Dan, how does it feel to be back home?
Dan Malesela (DM): It is good to be back and I’m also grateful with this opportunity of fixing things at the club. To be honest, it is really feels good. The fact that one didn’t move in to another club in between my resignation here and now. It was a blessing because maybe I may have gone somewhere where one wouldn’t want to go. But because we want to be employed, maybe I would have gone. God’s guides you in his own way sometimes. I’m grateful for that as well. I’m also grateful that Tim (Sukazi, the club’s president), didn’t go for anybody else. He had options where he would have gone for anybody but opted to go for me. We have to fulfil everybody’s expectations and everyone will be happy.
(TSG): Was it an elementary decision to come back to the Rockets?
DM: I won’t say easy. Easy is something else. It was more like automatic. Because of the understanding of each other (myself and Tim) things became easy in terms of choices of the club choosing me and myself also choosing the club. We’ve been having discussions all along. I almost knew what was going to probably happen even though at some stages, I had my own doubts that may not be the case because there was a time when Tim decided to keep quite. Probably, he was just trying to put the deal together.
TSG: The masses in football fraternity have expressed different opinions about the club’s decision to purchase the status of Highlands Park. How happy are you about this big step that the club has embarked on?
DM: People sell clubs because they feel they can’t do it anymore. People buy clubs because they want to own those clubs. I can see that people are saying this thing of buying and selling of clubs, it is not good in the PSL. You can’t just say that because you feel like saying that. If I’m struggling as a club owner financially and nobody is willing to help me, what do I do? Do I make my employers struggle? Or do I say, let me rather ship out before there is a bigger damage? Because the next thing, you will take risks and at the same time end up owing SARS (South African Revenue Services). The next thing, people will be saying this club owner is making players suffer. He hasn’t paid them and is owing SARS. If I can see that I’m no longer going to manage as a club owner, why not sell?
TSG: Yes, coach that is very true.
DM: When I sell my big house, my kids may not be happy because they are not comfortable with that situation. That’s their suffering but they have to understand that now we have got to go in to a smaller house because we can’t afford that big house that we have. It is part of life and it is like that. Yes, the selling of clubs leaves a sour taste to some people but to those that are buying it becomes a happy moment. People must remember that this is not a franchise. We can’t be forced to be called Highlands Park. This is not KFC for an example. When you buy KFC, you are forced to continue with the name KFC. TS Galaxy is well known. It has competed in the CAF Confederation Cup. The club is known even outside the country. Let us say, we go back to CAF and we get to Madagascar and people start asking who are you, must we start afresh and explain who we are?
What is your message to the lovers of TS Galaxy who have huge expectations about the club in top flight football?
DM: We need to make people understand that we have a new team. We must build. We must be reasonable with our expectations. Obviously, I know that there won’t be too much time because we have a lot at stake. We have a PSL status to protect. What is reasonable at the moment, is if we hang in the top eight. We will be in a right position where we can build. When you have pressure of relegation, you can’t build properly. Let us do ourselves a favour by not finding ourselves in relegation. We need to work hard to get there. The more you are outside the top eight and top four, you are inviting relegation. Our league is competitive. Even those that were number 9, were still in danger of relegation heading in to the last games. We need to get ourselves out of relegation and hang in the top eight.
TSG: What can TS Galaxy supporters expect from the club?
DM: I hope supporters will support the club. We will make sure that they are happy. We want to entertain them. We want them to go back home with lesser headaches. If they have problems, we must ease those problems. They must identify certain moments in the game that will make them happy and forget about their problems. We have to support our good football with results. You can’t play good football and not win matches.
TSG: Thanks coach, Dan.
DM: It is my pleasure to interact with the club supporters.