Rumours of Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama having resigned in the past few weeks didn’t sit well with him and this is something that is taking him long to forget.
During a Nedbank Cup press conference ahead of their game against Glad African Championship side Uthongathi FC this coming weekend, questions from the media around this issue sort of opened old wounds.
At the time, the Lions of the North were going through a rough patch, troubled by injuries and losing some important matches.
They lost three games in a row against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, Stellenbosch and the rejuvenated Orlando Pirates side, conceding 10 goals in those games. Da Gama addresses what he terms sensationalisation around coaches.
Da Gama was brought to Highlands whilst they were still in the Glad Africa Championship and he helped to promote the team back to the PSL, achieving that on the back of an unbeaten run.
He managed to finish in the top eight last season. The former South African U23 head coach is also happy to have a full backing of the club’s board.
SABC Sport is aware that it was during this period when club directors were alleged to be bombarded with communication from certain football agents offering them coaches.
And then reports on Da Gama’s resignation started to fly around. But during the presser on Tuesday he was hitting the media instead of directing his attack on the very same agents who most of the time plant information to make space available for their unemployed clients.
As early as last week, Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena was linked to the Highlands Park job as well as AmaZulu and most recently Black Leopards coaching job.
The 1-0 win through a controversial goal against Baroka FC this past weekend has seen Highlands Park rising back to the top eight.
And they still stand a good chance of finishing higher in the league if they can win more matches at home in the final 10 games of the season. Da Gama says there’s a plan at the club.
The fans were also not spared as Da Gama went in hard during the press conference. He feels that ever since the club lost in the MTN8 final to SuperSport United, there has been a section of fans who have been disruptive at the club. – Report by Velile Mnyandu