Now that he’s been fired at AmaZulu FC, it’s easy to dismiss Cavin Johnson’s concerns as sour grapes but he’s genuinely tired of what he claims is ‘Table Tennis’ football played by some South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs.
Johnson made this comment just a day after having lost to Highlands Park 2-1 in August.
Johnson was released earlier this week after a winless run in the first five matches of the season, losing three and drawing two games.
Known for a certain brand of expansive football, Johnson says this ‘Table Tennis’ football is destroying the SA game.
Johnson, a product of the School of Excellence as a youth coach, is known for promoting youth talent wherever he’s worked.
He says the football played by some PSL teams is also not conducive for youthful talent.
A PSL clubs gets close to R30 million a season from monthly grants and a PSL status is also worth millions of rands and Johnson says this is where the problem is.
The former Platinum Stars coach feels that there doesn’t seem to be any motivation of playing good football, but only chasing results and something needs to be done.
For years now, the PSL crowds have been dwindling and the quality of football played by most teams has contributed to this. Just this week, three PSL coaches were fired after only five games into the new season.
Johnson says the supporters are not stupid.
It has become a common story in the local game that football fans would complain about the standard of play in the PSL, but then expect miracles when these players wear the national colours. And Johnson says SA teams are now known for percentage football.
Johnson is not your average football coach, from School of Excellence he went to the Ajax Cape Town academy team where he took along with him a young Steve Pienaar.
He’s also been at Mamelodi Sundowns youth structures and as an assistant coach.
But he made his mark at Stars where he started at the academy from scratch in the North West before moving to the senior team. And two of his products, both youth internationals, Gift Links and Kobamelo Kodisang are in Europe. – Report by Velile Mnyandu