MARUMO Gallants midfielder Joseph “Tight” Malongoane said he’s fully behind new head coach, Romain Folz, despite being older than him.
The former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates player is 34 years old, while the France-born mentor, who replaced Dan Malesela, is 32.
Folz is the youngest coach in the DStv Premiership this season. Other Gallants players who are older than the former Botswana Township Rollers coach are goalkeeper Washington Arubi (36), Edgar Manaka (33) and Lehlohonolo Nonyane (35).
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa assistant coach, Mpho Maleka, is 12 years older than Folz.
However, Malongoane told SunSport that what’s important is the knowledge of the game and the leadership quality.
“Our pre-season has been great and I am impressed with our new coach,” said Malongoane, who was among the key players for Gallants last season.
“I know people have been talking about our coach’s age.
“But the guy’s knowledge, understanding of football and leadership skill is way better than many coaches who are older than him.
“Everyone in the team respects him and is excited and looking forward to the new season under him. What is important in life is respect and willingness to learn from everyone despite their age. He (Folz) has our backs and I hope we can do well and he stays long.”
Malongoane also revealed that Gallants’ goal this coming season is to do better than the last campaign.
Malongoane, who has also played for defunct Platinum Stars, Chippa United and AmaZulu, said he’s not thinking of retiring. Gallants host Stellenbosch FC in their first league match at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
“The plan is to start on a high note this season,” added Malongoane.
“Last season, we started slow and found ourselves under huge pressure as we had to fight to move the team from the danger zone. This time, we have to get as many wins at home as we can starting with our first match.”