Baroka Football Club is coming from the National First Division (NFD). This team was promoted to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) after being crowned the champions of the NFD. The team has played against the PSL teams previously and they dominated most of the PSL teams they met including Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup. Baroka has shown a lot of positives in their display. Although the team has not yet played in the PSL, we will discuss their strengths and weaknesses based on their performance in the NFD and the Nedbank Cup.
Baroka’ strengths are in their tactical approach (coach), central defenders, midfielders and strikers. Their coach Mr. Kgoloko Thobejane is a motivator by nature and he has encouraged his players throughout the season and in the Nedbank Cup. The most important aspect about him is that he does not hide his satisfaction during the game whenever the players are doing their best to make sure the team wins. There is nothing exciting and encouraging like watching your coach appreciating your work rate in any sport. Mr. Thobejane and Dan Malesela are the only coaches in the PSL who are known to demonstrate their joy whenever they are mesmerizing their opponents.
Baroka’s central defense is solid and they don’t lose concentration when they are under pressure. They are natural defenders and they are not scared of any player they face. Shaku and Mapheto are very strong and they are determined to cement their positions in central defense of Baroka in their new PSL campaign. One other point is that you will never find them behind their goalkeeper while the opponents are shooting to their goalkeeper.
In the midfield, the team has players such as Ngwenya, Chauke and Motshegwa. These 3 players are the pillar of Baroka Football Club. They are very good and they are very fast when attacking. They also help their defenders very well when they are under attack. Baroka’s midfield is also complemented by their right and left backs.
The team’ strikers has been banging goals week and week out in the NFD and the Nedbank Cup. The striker who was also the leading goal scorer in the NFD, Thabiso Kutumela, has left for Orlando Pirates.
Baroka’s weaknesses are in their goalkeeper, their left and right backs and now their no 9. The goalkeeper Msuluke is very good mostly on one on ones. He just lack the experience to play in the PSL. He is still behind when it comes to dealing with set pieces and most of the time he saves the ball back to play instead of saving the ball out of the field of play. Baroka should have bought in an experienced goalkeeper to help Msuluke in the elite league. There still a lot to learn from the experienced goalkeepers.
The left and right backs of Baroka are most of the time caught in the midfield instead of in their positions. They are slow when it comes to tracking back to help their defenders when they lose possession trying to go forward. Their communication with the central defenders is also questionable as most of the time they are the ones who are caught behind their central defenders to play their opponents on instead of being in the straight line with their central defenders.
With Thabiso Kutumela at Orlando Pirates, Baroka’s goal scoring machine is gone, so that position is left blank as there is no one we can point at and say will do the job at the new PSL campaign. The PSL and NFD are very different.
Solution to their weaknesses
The team has lost most of their star players to top teams in the PSL. The team has managed to sign players mostly from the NFD to replace the likes of Makondelela and Kutumela. The team believes in youngsters and they don’t have any desire to sign players who have already played in the PSL.
The new players are all form the NFD and they are: Xolani Ngcobo, Mbangeni Innocent, Mzwanele Mahashe, Tshepiso Leitsisa, Ignitious Kgobadi, Tshepo Sediti, Siphiwe Gwala, Rethabile Soso, Tomelo Mogale, James Bell, Richard Matloga, Sipho Moeti, and Cloopas Dube.