The Rockets have moved to cut ties with the 60-year-old tactician and appointed the former Bafana Bafana striker for the task
Struggling Premier League Soccer side TS Galaxy have parted ways with head coach Owen Da Gama after five matches this campaign, with his assistant Shaun Bartlett taking charge temporarily.
The 60-year-old former Platinum Stars coach was relieved of his duties after the team suffered their third defeat of the season after going down 4-2 against Royal AM on Sunday.
What did Galaxy statement say?
“Following a string of poor results at the start of this season’s PSL, the club has severed ties with coach Owen Da Gama with immediate effect,” the club confirmed in a statement on their social media pages.
“Da Gama took over the coaching reins at TS Galaxy in January but the Rockets have endured turbulent times since the start of the PSL in the current season.
“The Rockets are going through a barren run of results in the league. After five league outings, the club is yet to register a victory. As a result, the Rockets are languishing at the foot of the table with two points after five games.
“Both parties took an amicable decision to cut ties.”
‘One of the bitter pills’
On the decision to fire the coach, Galaxy president Tim Sukazi explained: “TS Galaxy has parted ways with coach Owen Da Gama. This is one of those bitter pills that we had to swallow as a club given the kind of contribution that Coach Owen has made to our club.
“Unfortunately, we have had a faulty start to the season and with football being a result-driven business, decisions like this are bound to be taken at some point or another if results aren’t forthcoming.
“Our new focus from now on is to get the team back on track. Coach Shaun Bartlett is taking over the reins in an interim capacity until a final decision on the head coach is made.
“The club would like to thank coach Owen for the valuable contribution that he has made at TS Galaxy Football Club and wishes him success in his future endeavours.
“Bartlett is not a novice in the head coaching role. His success as a coach speaks volumes. In 2014-15, he steered Lamontville Golden Arrows to greatness winning the National First Division (NFD).
“Bartlett has also held the head coaching position at Pretoria University in the past. He is very much up for the challenge.”
Bartlett ready for the challenge
Bartlett has also revealed his readiness to take up the challenge.
“It is always sad when a fellow colleague is relieved of his duties. I’ve been requested by the club to take over on an interim basis and see how we can turn things around and try and get the best out of the players,” said Bartlett.
“The next game is the most important one. Coach Owen had done several good things here. We have to build on that and not disregard some of the things he has done here. We’ve got to pay tribute to the coach for what he has done in such a short space of time.
“The priority now is to prepare for Sekhukhune and get the players to be in the right frame of mind. So far, we’ve done well at home. We need to get that first win under our belt. The sooner the better. One thing that we need to change is not to concede goals. To concede 10 goals in the first five matches is a huge concern for us.”
Bartlett’s first assignment is set to be against Sekhukhune United at the iconic Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.