Usuthu used their financial muscle to buy Thanda’s status, leaving Sikhakhane facing the sad reality of continuing in the National First Division yet again with newly formed Richard Bay FC – the club that has taken over Amabhubesi’s NFD status.
Thanda were ruthless under the tutelage of Sikhakhane last season, finishing the season on 62 points after 30 matches. They won 17 matches, lost just twice and scored 52 goals. They had the best defense in the league, conceding 24 goals, so they were a well-balanced team.
For all his hard work, Sikhakhane certainly deserved an opportunity to coach in the topflight and prove his worth as a coach, but that’s all gone out the window now. He has to try win promotion again, but he’s proven more than once that he is capable of doing so.
“Everyone was disappointed because we thought we would be in the PSL this season following the work that we put in for the club last season,” Sikhakhane tells KickOff.com.
“I think the chairman [Pierre Delvaux] should have at least informed us earlier about this because he obviously knew that there was a possibility of this happening. It was really sad, not only for me but the fans as well along with the rest of the people in the Zululand. Yet we have made peace with the fact that this was never in our hands so we had no control.
“Such is life after all. If you put that in your mind it will not help. I have had to move on and soldier on with what I am now faced with here in the job that I have here at Richards Bay. Actually we have been working hard in preparation for the new season and everything is on track now. I feel we will be able to compete again this season."
The 41 year-old will continue working with the same technical team that he had last term under the Thanda banner with Jomo Ntuli as assistant coach.