Free State Stars announce Sammy Troughton as their new coach

03 July 2017 - 11:39
By Mark Gleeson
Stellenbosch FC head coach Sammy Troughton. File photo
Image: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images Stellenbosch FC head coach Sammy Troughton. File photo

He starts work on Tuesday‚ just two weeks after his contract at the National First Division club was ended.

“I like what he did with Stellenbosch with what was an average squad and he has knowledge of the local scene‚" said Stars general manager Rantsi Mokoena on Monday.

"It is very dangerous these days to try and bring in a coach from outside who does not have any knowledge of the PSL.”

Stellenbosch finished third in the NFD last season but lost out in the Premier Soccer League’s promotion-relegation play-offs to Baroka and Black Leopards.

Troughton previously worked at the club a decade ago‚ first as an assistant coach and then had a single game in charge of the team at the end of the 2007/08 when Kinnah Phiri left.

Troughton’s debut as a coach was a 4-0 away win at Mamelodi Sundowns.

He returned as a top flight coach with Mpumalanga Black Aces in the 2009-20 season and was coach of the University of Pretoria for two PSL seasons.

Born in Northern Ireland‚ the 53-year-old Troughton played in the top league in England as a teenager‚ debuting for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Liverpool.

He came to South Africa with Arcadia first and was later a stalwart midfielder for Mamelodi Sundowns. He also had spells with Jomo Cosmos and Orlando Pirates.

Stars had been in discussion with Black Leopards’ Belgian-born coach Jean Luscuito‚ who resigned earlier this month‚ to take up their offer.

But Luscuito was then dropped because he still has a contract with the Limpopo club and their chairman David Thidiela was not willing to let him go without some compensation.

The announcement by Stars means that only Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City must still officially settle the issue of their coaches.

Polokwane look increasingly likely to start the new season next month with Bernard Molekwa in charge‚ after he was caretaker of half of the last campaign and helped the club secure a top eight finish.

Celtic are expected to name Vesselin Jelusic‚ former national team coach of Angola and Botswana‚ as their new coach sometime this week.

He is from Serbia and also coached club teams in both Angola and Botswana.