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Malesela wants Galaxy to reach for the stars

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Galaxy players know that last year’s stunning victory is a thing of the past and they need to do it again if they are to be legends of sorts

WHILE pride will be the driving force behind TS Galaxy as they begin the defence of their Nedbank Cup title with a clash against Chippa United in Port Elizabeth tonight, coach Dan Malesela has also used a ploy that could see his team playing their hearts out.

Having set the record of being the first lower division team to win the country’s premier club knockout competition, Galaxy have become somewhat content.

This, Malesela, says, has seen his team drop the ball a bit while their opposition see them as a target to help elevate their standing. The former Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns captain has thus made his players realise that they have actually not achieved much.

“I have told them that while it was good that they won the Nedbank Cup, their single medal is nothing. I said to them ‘if you see my medals, you would be embarrassed because this single one that you have is nothing in comparison’. I hope it has worked and that it makes them want to achieve more.”

Malesela, who captained Pirates to success in the same competition albeit under a different sponsor back in 1988, says contentment is a South African problem. “We get easily satisfied. One big win and we rest on our laurels. We do not want to go beyond what we achieve. People are just easily happy. They get R10 000 and they behave like millionaires instead of trying to make more of that R10 000.”

But Galaxy players know that last year’s stunning victory is a thing of the past and they need to do it again if they are to be legends of sorts.

“Our approach to this will be one of pride. We must have pride. We can’t be champions today and tomorrow be way lower than that. So we’ve got to be a bit more arrogant in our approach.

“My challenge though is that I am working with young minds that are inexperienced. Only two of them have played in the top league. Some of them get a bit scared (to express themselves) so the task of man managing them is huge.

“I have to motivate and counsel them more than I do train.”

The initial big hurdle for Malesela and his team as they look to prove that their victory from last season was no fluke comes in the form of a Chippa side that Malesela helped build.

He has seen the Chilli Boys this season and admits that they are not the team he coached.

“Naturally teams change under different coaches because each coach comes with certain beliefs and philosophies. So yes Chippa are different now. They are now a bit more direct in their play.”

With his teams renowned for knocking the ball about, Malesela could well have the beating of his former employers and spoil Chippa’s 10 year anniversary celebrations that started last weekend.