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Uthongathi FC replace Ronnie Gabriel with Sammy Troughton

Posted: 16 January 2018 Time: 10:38

National First Division side Uthongathi FC have sacked Ronnie Gabriel and appointed Sammy Troughton as their new coach.

Gabriel, who has held many positions at the club over the years, was relieved of his duties in the wake of a 2-0 loss at Witbank Spurs on the weekend.

Troughton boasts plenty of NFD experience, having previously coached Thanda Royal Zulu, University of Pretoria and Stellenbosh FC. He guided the latter to the PSL play-offs last term before a short stint with Free State Stars ended in August 2017 as he made way for Luc Eymael.

Troughton, who lasted two games with Ea Lla Koto, will have to hit the ground running in northern KwaZulu-Natal as the Cane Cutters have gone five games without a win, which includes three defeats.

Uthongathi’s last victory was against Real Kings on December 3 at Umlazi’s King Zwelithini Stadium and they’re currently lying 13 on the log with 17 points from 17 games.

Uthongathi director Nkosinathi Chilli says the decision to part ways with the long-serving Gabriel was not taken lightly.

“It is true that we have parted ways with Ronnie Gabriel. This comes after we reviewed our results and looked at the 17 matches that we have played. We saw the team has won only three of those and we are only left with 39 points to play for,” Chilli tells

“We realised that there’s a serious challenge we are facing right now. But we’ve analysed the games as the management of the team and we came to the decision that we must effect changes in the technical team.

“It wasn’t an easy decision... it took about three hours discussing one item of whether we release these coaches whom we have been with them from the SAB League up to the ABC Motsepe League and till we are here.

“It's like parting ways with a part of our body but there’s nothing that we can do as a team because the game of football is a business in itself. If you’re seeing that your business is floating and we are running dry of ideas you tend to look at other options, whether to bring in somebody who’ll come up with new ideas.

“I must be honest with you, the decision was taken based on the result and with the target when we started this season, that we wanted to be in the top six or top eight. Unfortunately we are seeing this objective of the team is vanishing slowly but surely.

“We’ve appointed Samuel Troughton and Johnny Ferreira to take this team forward and we are hoping that they’ll take this team where the target is.”

Meanwhile, Chilli also confirmed that the club have recruited former Golden Arrows and Chippa United attacking midfielder Philani Shange and re-signed winger Patrick Meso.

Troughton’s first game in charge of the club will be against Jomo Cosmos on Saturday at KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium.

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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