Baroka’s captaincy change explained

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Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda has given an explanation on why the club decided to change the captaincy midway through the 2019/2020 season.

Bakgaga have now appointed Malawian international Gerald Phiri Jnr as the new head captain taking over from out of favour midfielder Mduduzi Mdantsane.

There had been speculation that Mdantsane was being punished for not agreeing to renew his contract which comes to an end in June 2020.

Phiri captained Baroka for the first time in their goalless draw against Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday night.

“In football you make changes when you want to stipulate something into the team, and we needed to stipulate something into the young man (Phiri Jnr) and give him some responsibility so that he can give us more,” Nyirenda clarified.

“And moreover, he is playing more of the minutes in the game, so he needs to be on the pitch and for Mdantsane playing in the same position as him we thought he could start outside, but we will start and balance some equations.

“Mdantsane is a very cardinal player for us and he needs to be having some game time. He is a pro – very disciplined player.

“He has behaved well and has not taken it to heart, he said in his speech to the players when we changed the captaincy that time comes for everyone and my time has come for me to give the armband to someone else like the decision has been decided so everyone has to support that,” continued the Zambian.

“He is one of the first players on the pitch at training pitch just like the current captain Gerald. When you see him at training, he is training even more than he was the captain, so you see he is just a motivated player.”

Baroka midfielder Mduduzi Mdantsane has lost the armband.

Since their promotion to the Absa Premiership, Bakgaga have had four regular captains.

Olaleng Shaku was their first official captain before he was dismissed for drinking on the team bus and Letladi Madubanya took over before he was also released by the team earlier this season.

Phiri (26) had played just 10 matches for the Ga-Mphahlele side before he took over from Mdantsane who is rumoured to be on his way out of the team at the end of the season.

By Ofhani Munyai

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