May 12, 2022

OPINION: Truter’s ‘cheap’ jab is misplaced…

Brandon Truter may be frustrated by the way he was treated at Swallows FC, but his accusation that his successor Dylan Kerr is a “cheap foreign coach” is nothing but a cheap shot in itself, and belies Truter’s own insecurities and flawed character.

Truter claims he was hounded out of The Birds’ nest after a disastrous season, threatened by angry fans and not paid his full dues by the Swallows management. If that is the case, he should absolutely chase his money and take Swallows to whatever forum is necessary to get what is owed to him. But his attack on Kerr following the 1-0 victory for his new club AmaZulu against Swallows on Tuesday was both unnecessary, tactless and lacked class.

“Coach Dylan Kerr had 19 games to turn it around, and for a coach that is worth his salt, he could have turned it around,” Truter told reporters. “He is a foreign coach, he should be doing better than local coaches, so again it is a point for the local coaches.

“This means a lot for me and that we should be looking at local coaches and not at cheap foreign imports.”

Truter was sacked by the Dobsonville club after two wins in 31 league games (D21 L8) spanning back to last season. He can’t say he didn’t see it coming. For two of those matches (D1 L1) he went on ‘leave’ and the team were coached by his assistant Simo Dladla.

Kerr has now been in charge of the side for 15 league games and has managed 15 points. In the 15 league games prior to his departure, Truter managed 10 points. So there has been a 50% improvement.

And, by all accounts, Kerr inherited a number of issues within the Swallows squad that had, allegedly, been sewn by Truter. It was never going to be a quick fix.

Kerr himself can be brash and outspoken, but I have not heard him disrespect other coaches in such a crass manner. And if you look at his record, and qualifications, it is hard to see what Truter is getting at. Kerr did his UEFA ‘A’ License with Jose Mourinho and won trophies at his last club before coming to South Africa, Gor Mahia in Kenya. In subsequent seasons, he has saved Black Leopards, Baroka FC and TTM from relegation.

To save one of those dysfunctional Limpopo teams is an achievement, two is excellent work and three is outstanding.

Added to that, he also won the Nedbank Cup with TTM (now Marumo Gallants) last season in another unlikely triumph in which they beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the semifinals. So he has major silverware to his name, something Truter does not.

So by all accounts Kerr has performed above expectations, which suggests Truter does not really have a leg to stand on with his comments.

But what could be happening here is that he is really lashing out at Swallows, and Kerr is just in his firing line. This is borne out by Truter’s subsequent comments.

“At AmaZulu, there’s massive support from management, from the chairman to the technical team, the kitman and everybody,” he said. “Truly speaking, I was not afforded that at Swallows. There was very little support at Swallows – the support at AmaZulu has also given me good players as well, and you can see the turnaround [in form].

“I couldn’t speak to the media about these things, there was a settlement agreement, but they’ve breached that agreement by not paying the settlement. They haven’t paid me as well. So they’ve breached that again. I’m going to PSL to get my money.”

Truter is a good coach himself, of that there is no doubt. But part of being a good coach is also being able to handle your emotions in the public space.

Buoyed by a win over a team he feels has wronged him, it all came gushing out and he spilled the beans. But he is the one who has been made to look a little foolish.

By Nick Said

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