NEWLY promoted National First Division (NFD) team JDR Stars have sent a stern warning to their competitors ahead of the new season.
The Hammer Boys, as Stars are affectionately known, gained promotion to the NFD after winning the ABC Motsepe National Play-offs last month.
“We’re the new kids on the block yes, but if teams think they will walk all over us, then they have another thing coming!” said Stars’ owner and head coach Nditsheni Nemasisi.
“We are not here to make up the numbers, we are here to compete. If you come into the league with low standards, then you will struggle.
“We don’t intend to fight relegation this coming season, we want to make our mark and show other teams that we are not to be taken lightly.”
Make no mistake, though, Nemasisi is by no means underestimating the task that lies in wait for his charges in their maiden campaign in Mzansi’s second division.
However, he believes they have the right formula to succeed at that level.
“If you look carefully, there isn’t that much of a difference between the SAB League, ABC Motsepe League and the NFD. They are all promotional leagues to ultimately get to the PSL. We have been doing the right things to get to this point, we need to continue building on top of that.”
At 37, Nemasisi is set to be one of the youngest coaches in the league.
The Hammer Boys’ mentor, who is also a lawyer by day at his law firm Nemasisi Attorneys, has brought in Sibusiso Zungu as his assistant to share the workload.
Zungu previously worked with former TS Sporting coach Benson Mhlongo at the Mpumalanga club.
“I want to continue coaching the team in the NFD,” added Nemasisi.
“My dream is to take the team to the PSL myself, then maybe I can move over and hire someone once we get there.
“I believe this dream is possible, I have assembled a technical team that will stop at nothing until we achieve this goal.”
The Pretoria outfit have given professional contracts to 70% of their squad from last season and added four new signings so far.
They are nearing the final stages of pre-season before opening their NFD campaign with a clash against Richards Bay at uMhluthuze Sports Complex on 18 August.