Vasco da Gama new season, new plans start now

Image by: Tony Andrade

Vasco da Gama want to bury the mistakes of this season and build on the positives for the 2016/2017 campaign, which is why their strategy and planning for the new season has already begun.

Struggling at the wrong end of the table, and hovering just above the relegation zone, the ambitious Mother City outfit had strategised to be a promotion-chasing team at the start of the season.

So what went wrong?

A combination of four coaching changes in one season coupled with an inability to translate their solid club structure into performances on the field has led to management to take a long, hard look at the situation.

The club now has a full time video analyst, full time physiotherapist, team manager and CEO in the experienced Edries Burton. But they were not able to match this structure with on-field results.

Forwardzone’s Ashley Kotzin, who has overseen the rebuilding of Vasco from a strategic point of view, admits mistakes were made, but has no choice but to work with the positives.

ashley-kotzin-forward-zone“Our strategic plan was to be a top three side and aim for promotion to the Premiership. So, we are disappointed by our performance but also happy with our young talent coming through.

“The focus for us now, and what we have already been putting our energy into, is to convert the positives from this season into the future.

“We are pleased to see 19-year-old Jamie Webber coming through like he is, Rafiq de Goede’s continued growth as a centre back and how Steven Hoffman has cemented himself as a junior national team goalkeeper.

“We have an interesting club model now, being viewed as a selling club. Two of our top younger players in the first team will go to Portugal in the off season to train at Vitória Guimarães. And we hope Vasco will grow into a club that young players want to join because they see a future for themselves, even abroad.

“Our leadership has not been what it should be and we have made mistakes with the coaching. We got it wrong. But we are hopeful for the new season.

“We’ll continue to find good, young talent because we’re able to get fringe players to come to the NFD and develop. The MDC (Diski League) has helped with that.

“Also, for example, some Premiership teams want to work with only 23 first teamers. The extra players will go out on loan and when top-flight clubs do this, we look to snap up those players.”