Butler confirms willingness to sign Botswana players for Platinum Stars
In February 2015, then Zebras coach made an outspoken and bold claim that the South African Premier Soccer League was overrated. The coach jokingly compared Kaizer Chiefs to a Division 2 team in England, the remarks were made as Butler pledged his support for Township Rollers in their CAF Champions League clash against the Soweto giants two years ago.
“I personally don’t think Rollers will get smashed tonight. The PSL is not as good as the hype they give it, Chiefs are like a Division 2 team in UK. If the PSL is that good why are there hardly any PSL players playing in the EPL at this present moment ? Lower Leagues ?” Butler publicly stated in 2015 on his Twitter page.
Fast forward to 2017, Butler has been unveiled in the PSL as the new Platinum Stars coach with the grin of a man on a mission to prove himself in one of Africa’s biggest leagues.
Last week several South African media personnel referenced Butler’s past remarks and highlighted the irony of him joining a league he once publicly criticized. Butler informed Gazette Sport that what he said in the past was interpreted the wrong way and he believes he was wrongly judged for showing support to a club of his then ‘adopted’ country against a South African opponent.
“As for the critics, people are entitled to their opinions. Things are getting taken out of context at times however we cannot dwell on the past we have to move forward,” Butler told this reporter.
The former Zebras coach expressed his delight after returning to club football. The Englishman has been widely tipped to sign local players for his new club. Butler has been in Botswana for more than three years and has great knowledge of the players, the only potential stumbling block would be to convince the Stars hierarchy to sign the players outright without trials.
Jwaneng Galaxy star Thabang Sesinyi has reportedly undergone trials at the club and could be one of Butler’s first signings if the technical team has been impressed by his trial. He confirmed his willingness to sign Botswana players and hinted at more than one signing.
“I will hopefully sign a few players and I have my eye on the Botswana youngsters who I gave a chance in the National Team, they deserve a chance. I’ll be a success wherever I go because I don’t take shortcuts, I do things the correct way and in a professional way, my pride and integrity is intact,” Butler continued.
Stars once tried to re-sign Mogakolodi Ngele on loan last year, with Butler at the helm the deal could be resurrected if the coach shows an interest in the Mamelodi Sundowns player. Butler’s first assignemnt for Stars will be the 2017 Maize Cup pre season tournament where they will face Kaizer Chiefs, Rollers and Bloemfontein Celtic next month.