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Why Swallows has the best management style

With a dismal start to the season, the usual reaction would have been to fire coach Brandon Truter. However, scrutiny has been placed on players, and it's a genius and refreshing move
Thu, Nov 25, 2021

PHOTO: Swallows FC Twitter

Some club bosses would take one glance at Brandon Truter's numbers at Swallows at the moment and not hesitate to pull the trigger.

Chippa Mpengesi is a classic example with his latest stunt where he’s suspended four-time league winning coach Gavin Hunt after 10 matches – even after his emotional thesis a couple of weeks before urging the fans to be patient. Guess who didn’t take his own advice?

Anyway, Truter has been under the microscope and staring down the barrel of a gun after one win from 11 games in the DStv Premiership. But the approach his bosses have taken is unusual, but refreshing.

He may eventually get the boot if the results aren’t in favour given that it would be a travesty to see a club that was almost forgotten, and its rich heritage lost, face the embarrassment of being relegated from the topflight.

For now, the decision to instead turn the attention on the players by calling them out to earn their keep could be a masterstroke. It’s a rare approach and one Premier Soccer League clubs should contemplate before leaving the coach out to dry – as risky as it sounds.

Truter arrived at Swallows in September 2019 and was handed the mandate to guide the Dube Birds back to the elite league, a target that came across quite arrogant considering how long the club had been out of sight.

It took four years of unsuccessful attempts to do so, forcing the hierarchy to move swiftly and buy Maccabi FC’s GladAfrica Championship (second tier) status to try to fast-track the long-awaited return when promotion on the pitch eluded them.

A year later, despite Covid-19 disruptions, Truter had completed his mission by gaining automatic promotion to the inaugural DStv Premiership.

Surprise, surprise – he was suddenly on the radar of several other clubs who held the firm belief that he could do the same for them in the lower divisions. If that’s not enough proof that the man nicknamed ‘Brakkies’ is no fly-by-night coach, then the South African football fraternity needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

What Swallows are saying here is that the club needs to try and exhaust all options available to them before discarding a coach who’s helped them rebrand after years in the doldrums.

Truter was also able to manage an credible sixth place finish at the conclusion of their debut season back in the Premiership.

The Dube Birds have had an awful start, sure, but before they decide Truter isn’t the right man for the job, chairman David Mogashoa wants to assess and hold the players accountable for their own part in the negative results. It’s rare and goes against the trend.

What any bean counter will tell you is that it’s cheaper to fire the coach and several of his backroom staff than to trim the deadwood in a squad that’s not performing – I am anxious to see how Swallows goes about it if that is indeed the outcome of this exercise.

My opinion is that PSL players are coddled way too much and no one dares to tell them they aren’t good enough when they need to hear it and it’s the coach who takes the flak. Now these players are obviously playing for their futures.

Truter could still walk, but at least his dismissal letter, should it come, will arrive with a disclaimer that his bosses tried.