‘Tim and I come a long way‚’ says ODG as he takes charge at TS Galaxy

11 January 2021 - 14:43 By Tiisetso Malepa
Owen da Gama has said TS Galaxy's ambitions attracted him to the club.
Owen da Gama has said TS Galaxy's ambitions attracted him to the club.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

TS Galaxy owner-chairman Tim Sukazi has turned to experienced Owen da Gama after he named a third coach this season as the Mpumalanga club struggle to find their footing in the DStv Premiership.

The 59-year-old coach has signed a three-year contract with the Rockets and Sukazi explained the reasons behind Da Gama as an option.

“Owen is a seasoned coach who has lots of experience in the local game. Most importantly‚ Owen has a good understanding of the bulk of our current squad after having worked with them at Highlands Park‚” said Sukazi.

The Rockets started the season with Dan Malesela in charge in September but he was fired last month for poor results a couple of days before Christmas Day.

Galaxy boss Sukazi was not impressed with the start to the season and replaced Malesela with his assistant Zipho Dlangalala on an interim basis on New Year’s Eve.

The Rockets won just a point out of a possible six under Dlangalala where they drew 2-2 with Baroka FC and lost 3-0 at home to SuperSport United last week in a result that Sukazi said was “humiliating” for the club.

“Given where we are in the season‚ we wanted someone who will hit the ground running from the onset.

“The fact that coach Owen has worked with most of our current crop of players gave him a notch.

"Unfortunately there are not too many coaches out there who tick these two critical boxes.”

When Sukazi bought the Premiership status of Highlands Park during the off-season‚ the former player agent was expected to stick with Da Gama who was in charge of the club because he knew the majority of the playing staff.

But Sukazi opted for Malesela who he said at the time understood the culture and environment of the club.

The Galaxy squad is a mixture of players who were inherited from Highlands and the ones who campaigned in the GladAfrica Championship last season.

While many thought Da Gama would be a perfect fit due to his knowledge of the majority of the players in the current Galaxy squad‚ Sukazi saw it differently.

Sukazi said in September his reasons for going with Malesela instead of Da Gama‚ who knew majority of the Galaxy squad from his days in charge of them at Highlands.

“So‚ we looked at the situation and we said we have to combine two teams and we will be in a better place perhaps with a coach that understands the environment more than the coach who understands the assets that we are acquiring‚” said Sukazi in September when announcing Malesela as head coach.

Da Gama‚ who previously coached Orlando Pirates‚ Bloemfontein Celtic‚ Free State Stars and the now defunct Platinum Stars in the Premiership‚ said the club’s ambitions convinced him to sign on the dotted line.

“I come a long way with Tim and when I looked at the ambition of the club‚ I was really attracted to TS Galaxy‚” said the former Bafana Bafana assistant and interim coach.

Galaxy have won once in 10 DStv Premiership matches and are two points from relegation danger on eight points in 13th spot following five draws and four defeats.

Da Gama joined the team on Monday and said he is confident he will turn things around.

He will have an opportunity to do so when Galaxy host fellow strugglers Chippa United at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday. Kickoff is at 15h30.