Zeca Marques: Black Leopards must keep coach Joel Masutha

The former Lidoda Duvha coach believes that they must beef up their squad and look for experienced players if they are to survive in the PSL

With Black Leopards having secured their Premier Soccer League promotion for the 2018/19 season, their former coach believes they must beef up their squad.

According to ex-coach Zeca Marques, Lidoda Duvha is in the right hands under coach Joel Masutha’s guidance because he knows the club well.

The former Moroka Swallows boss also revealed that he was busy establishing a business and is looking forward to coming back to the game.

Speaking exclusively to Goal , Marques believes Leopards definitely have to sign players, but must not look at clubs such as Platinum Stars and Ajax Cape Town.

Although he believes they must capture players with PSL experience, he revealed he is not a fan of signing players from relegated clubs because they might not be good enough to help Leopards to retain their PSL status.

Leopards qualified for the play-offs after finishing second to Highlands Park in the NFD season and Marques says it will be interesting for the fans in the province now that there is also Baroka FC and Polokwane City in the elite division.

The Thohoyandou-based side bagged two wins over Dikwena and Jomo Cosmos as well as two draws in the PSL/National First Division play-offs to bounce back to the top tier after they were relegated in the 2012/13 season.

“Look, I think he has done a great job in the NFD and in the play-offs and he deserves a chance to lead them in the PSL,” Marques told Goal .

“He has been with the club for many years and he knows the players like a father to his sons, he has been loyal and has an understanding with the chairman(David Thidiela),” he said.

“He understands the mindset of the players from the area and he has done what foreign coaches failed to do.  I’ve never been a fan of foreign coaches because they don’t understand all these things and in my view, you don’t have to be a big tactician, but a people’s person and get along very well with your players,” continued the coach.

“They must keep their players, but they must beef up the squad with experienced to improve there and there. The NFD and the PSL are two different leagues and they will need a balanced team, they need more experience than numbers,” he reacted.

When asked about choosing the right field or venue for their home games, the ex-Cape Town Santos mentor advised that Thohoyandou Stadium is the perfect home for the club.

He believes moving to the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium will be an injustice to the community and their support base is there which will work for the club.

“No, they definitely have to stay in Thohoyandou, it will suit their support base and they owe it to the players and the fans,” he added.

“It will be unfair if they leave for Peter Mokaba or any venue the stadium, I think they just need to improve the standard the grand stand and that is the least of the worry - to be fair, they must pay back the faith shown by the fans,” said Marques.

On the other hand the experienced manager reckons they must start planning for the new season and look at their organisation.

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“I think they must continue planning, if they go to pre-season, planning must start already, identify, the organisation has to change employ competent in certain departments – failure to do so means they will go down,” advised Marques.

“I’m happy for them and am looking at forward to a fruitful season for them, but coming to me I will be back in the game,” he said.

“I took a break from football and I have established a business and I am looking for a club that is looking to achieve things – let’s see but I am available,” concluded the coach.