With the blessing of the club chairman, he was allowed to travel to Europe to attend to his gravely ill father, but upon arrival in Durban, could scarcely believe the news of his sacking, especially after the great effort he made in securing the club’s First Division status for next season.
The 44-year-old, who represented Northern Ireland at School and Youth levels before a move from Glentoran to Wolverhampton Wanderers in late 1983, had just buried his father and was certainly not prepared for another shock.
“Imagine how I felt,” he told KickOff.com says. “To be treated like this after what I’ve achieved in such a short period is unbelievable!
“But I must admit Stars was a complete shambles. The owner started questioning what I was doing with the team. And I said, ‘Listen I got you out of the relegation fight. What are you talking about?’
“Even Walter da Silva, who was working at youth level, left about two weeks ago and is now doing a bit of development work at FC AK.”
The former Jomo Cosmos, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates player steered Stars to a win over Ikapa Sporting on his debut in mid-January and for the next three games, his team put Western Province United, Hanover Park and high-flyers Bay United to the sword.
Troughton told KickOff.com that is was time to move forward and that things have already worked out for the better.
“I’m going to head up the development at Free State Stars and try to get them organised until the new season starts. Then we’ll see what happens. At least I was lucky that someone was after me.”