Thidiela wants newly promoted Leopards to start challenging for honours straight away

07 June 2018 - 15:36 By Mark Gleeson
David Thidiela Chairman of Black Leopards celebrates with players during the National First Division Promotion and Relegation Playoff match between Black Leopards and Jomo Cosmos at Thohoyandou Stadium on May 30, 2018 in Thohoyandou, South Africa.
David Thidiela Chairman of Black Leopards celebrates with players during the National First Division Promotion and Relegation Playoff match between Black Leopards and Jomo Cosmos at Thohoyandou Stadium on May 30, 2018 in Thohoyandou, South Africa.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Ambitious Black Leopards boss David Thidiela wants to start challenging for honours straight away now that the newly promoted club is back in the Absa Premiership.

The Leopards owner also revealed that he would keep Joel Masuthu as coach next season.

“I’m not now going to be sitting down and talking nonsense about a three-year plan or whatever for my club‚” the straight-talking Venda businessman told TimesLIVE on Thursday.

“I’m going to challenge now‚ not give myself three years.

"My intention is to make sure we are not a yo-yo team.”

Thidiela says that means going into the market place to strengthen his squad‚ particularly with top quality international players.

“I need a spine of the team‚ a good centre back‚ midfielder and goal scorer‚" he said.

"I want also to get a better quality of foreigner than we have had before.

“I’ve got agents phoning all the time and I keep telling them if that if they have a good player‚ bring him to me and let me see.”

Thidiela‚ a member of the Premier Soccer League executive committee‚ also says he is not scared to spend on players the club will need.

“When you want to make money‚ you have to spend money. But we do it slowly and carefully‚” he added.

Leopards have given their players off until June 29 because of the lengthy promotion-relegation play-offs where they pipped Jomo Cosmos and Platinum Stars to a spot in the top flight.

Thidiela said the first two weeks after the players were back was when he would be looking at trialists.

He is also keeping ex-goalkeeper Masuthu on as coach‚ even though he has no experience in the top-flight.

“I’m staying with Joel. The club was in ninth place (in the National First Division) standings when he took over and he took the team to the play-offs and then we won the play-offs.

“We beat Jomo (Cosmos) three times and Roger de Sa twice.

"Why would I want to change a winning formula?” he asked.

X