After serving the Free Sate Stars faithful with a delicious 2017/18 football season, Luc Eymael must have forgot the well-known pithy saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. And now this forgetfulness has contributed to him and Free State Stars terminating their working relationship.
As manager of the Bethlehem-based side, he led Ea La Koto to the Nedbank Cup crown and to a top eight finish – sixth place – on the log last season.
He was Free State Stars shining star, but then he decided to change his winning formula and things were never the same again. He destroyed Free State Stars’ spirit, morale and momentum by signing 11 new players and parting company with 14 players ahead of the 2018/19 Absa Premiership season.
On the other side of the coin, by parting company with Eymael, Free State Stars’ owners not only failed to allow him sufficient time to get his philosophy across to a virtually completely new squad of players but also failed to follow the smart approach taken by the owners of Bidvest Wits.
The Clever Boys signed 7 first-team players ahead of the 2017/18 season and ended that season in an extremely underwhelming thirteenth place on the log considering that the previous season (2016/17) The Clever Boys were crowned as league champions.
However, the Wits owners stuck by manager Gavin Hunt and that loyalty is now paying dividends as the club is now flying high in second place on the log.
Eymael, who has never been in charge of a club for more than four years since he began his manager career in 1999, will now be hoping to recreate all the ingredients that worked so well for him in in first season with Ea La Koto when he eventually is ordered to deliver the goods from the dugout again.
By Saul Kamionsky