After a slow start in the first round of the GladAfrica Championship season, Swallows FC head coach Brandon Truter breaks down the second round adjustments that were made to ensure that the Soweto-based team snatch promotion back to the Premiership right at the death.
Swallows sealed automatic promotion after thrashing playoff candidates Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) 3-0 over the weekend, edging second-placed Ajax Cape Town by a single goal on goal difference since both sides finished with 57 points.
Consistency is the name of the game as Swallows won 12 of their last 16 matches in the second-tier league with three draws and just the one defeat.
Remarkably, along the way, ‘The Dube Birds’ went 5 matches unbeaten on two separates occasions in the second round of the GladAfrica season.
And despite being nine points behind Ajax after the first match following the resumption of football, Truter and his troops pulled off a masterclass performance to earn 16 points out of a possible 18 in the PSL Bio Bubble as ‘The Urban Warriors’ watched their nine-point advantage vanish in front of their eyes.
“The technical team was superb, we had to come up with a formula that would work,” Truter said, who has the backing of chairman David Mogashoa to lead Swallows in the top-flight next season.
“We only had a short period of time to get the boys ready to come into this mini-tournament and from the 18 points [available], we walked away with 16 to be crowned champions,” added Truter.
As in the famous saying by Jim George: “It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish.”
“It was a tough journey, the whole GladAfrica Championship. If you look at the season, Ajax was on top for 14 weeks, Uthongathi was on top for eight weeks. JDR [Stars] were also on top for four or eight weeks.
“We were on top for three days and we snatched it in the end, it is not about how you start, but how you finish. It was a tough road,” concluded Truter as Swallows makes a return to the Premier Division for the time since their relegation at the end of the 2014-15 Absa Premiership season.
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